college freeway#2

college freeway#2 - Everyday we as human beings carry out a...

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Everyday we as human beings carry out a great many tasks and actions. Those actions which are observable are referred to as behavior. We have the ability to alter our behavior over time in order to adapt to our ever changing environment. Our behavior is altered through both experience and innate neural abilities. As an example, in the process of Classical Conditioning, a subject learns to respond to some new stimulus through experience with an already ‘built in” reflex (Gray, 92). Another form of learning, known as operant conditioning, is the process by which a subject uses prior experience (as well as an innate ability to connect a means to an end) in order to perform a task which will operate on the environment to produce some desired effect (Gray, 105, 115). It does not take too much effort to think of examples in a person’s own life where experience and innate mechanisms have worked together in order to adapt to one’s environment. Almost every aspect of our behavior has been modified by one or both the previously mentioned learning processes. Within my own life, I have learned two very distinct behaviors through these processes – learning to jump out of the way of shower water at the sound of a toilet flush in order to avoid ice cold water through classical conditioning, and learning to better play the position of goalkeeper in soccer through operant conditioning. Following, I will outline and explain the dynamics of classical conditioning and operant conditioning through these examples. O PERANT C ONDITIONING While in high school, I played the position of goalkeeper for my high school soccer team. To play at the high school level required a great amount of prior experience at the goalkeeper position. Playing through elementary school and junior high school provided me with quite a bit of experience to learn the position of goalkeeper; much of
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what I learned, I learned through operant conditioning. One such skill learned through operant conditioning was knowing how to charge out towards an opposing team member, when to charge, and at what angle to charge. Early on in my career I would always remain fairly close to the goal, and I would not leave to charge out to oppose an opponent. However, I noticed that when an opposing team member with the ball had passed through the entire defense and was on a breakaway toward the goal, I was almost always scored on. At this point, I was forced to change my playing habits in order to better handle these situations. Obviously, just remaining back near the goal was not the best mode of action in these situations. Through some experimenting at practice and games, and with help from my coach, I began to notice that if I charged out towards an opposing team member who was on a breakaway, I had a greater chance of blocking the shot. At first, I realized that just the mere act of running towards the ball carrier reduced the chance of getting scored upon. As I practiced more and more, however, I was able to refine my charge so that I would
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college freeway#2 - Everyday we as human beings carry out a...

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