applied conditioning paper

applied conditioning paper - My Experiences With...

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My Experiences With Conditioning In Everyday Life Andrea Chin 9/3/06 Psych-100: Madigan TA: Trish George 1
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Background on Classical Conditioning: Classical conditioning is a way by which individuals form new reflexes that are supposed to predict certain environmental changes in the form of stimuli and respond by modifying their behavior accordingly. “A reflex is a simple, relatively automatic stimulus-response sequence mediated by the nervous system” (Gray, 2006, p. 92) that can be modified by experience with the environment. Classical conditioning involves pairing a neutral stimulus that precedes the arrival of an unconditioned stimulus that elicits the unconditioned response. Generally after several such pairings the neutral stimulus becomes a conditioned stimulus that elicits a conditioned response that resembles the unconditioned response. The individual may perform the conditioned response to other stimuli considered similar to the conditioned stimulus; this process is known as generalization. The conditioned reflex can become extinguished if the unconditioned stimulus does not follow the conditioned stimulus for a number of trials. Discrimination training helps to abolish generalization by extinguishing the response to one stimulus while reinforcing the response to another. My Experience With Classical Conditioning: On the morning of the first rainy day of the winter, I was headed on my way to school, blasting techno music as a sort of auditory caffeine in hopes that I would feel more awake. Five minutes into my commute, I noticed that two hundred yards ahead of me, a minivan was jutting out from a side street into both lanes of the main thoroughfare on which I was driving. Though I was driving under the speed limit as the road was very slippery, I slowed down to let the minivan make its right turn even though I had the right 2
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of way. As I hit the breaks more and more, the minivan kept edging further and further into the main road without actually making the turn. The next thing I knew, my car skidded into the side of the minivan. Thankfully no one was hurt, but the left side of the minivan and the front of my car were totaled. Tied with the fact that one of my friends was run over by a car two years ago on that same date, December 1, I became absolutely terrified of driving and being a passenger after the accident. I refused to even touch the steering wheel of my mother’s car, a similar model to mine, for fear of wrecking it. I would not go near any old gray sedans that resembled mine. My fears were escalated by the fact that the friend who took me to school drove a minivan much like the one I had totaled. Each morning, especially on the drizzly and overcast ones, I’d grip the nearest handlebar for dear life whenever the speedometer needle passed 25 mph and prayed that we would not die. I cringed whenever nearby cars passed or suddenly cut in front of the minivan. At these moments my friend would ask me if I was hyperventilating and I almost wondered if she could
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This note was uploaded on 02/27/2008 for the course PSYC 100 taught by Professor Madigan during the Fall '07 term at USC.

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applied conditioning paper - My Experiences With...

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