classical conditioning

Fact: no matter how sweet and gentle your alarm clock sound, within 2 weeks you will have a classically conditioned rage response to that sound.

I swear to god Pete's a genius

I recently got my grubby little hands on one of fall out boy’s hidden tracks, Pavlove, from Folie à Deux.

BUT: I read probably way too far into it and i think i figured the title out. Stick with me little chicken mcnuggets you’re in for a ride.

So, Pavlov’s Dog was an experiment. Pavlov trained his dog using a bell and the dog’s food. Each time food was served to the dog, he rang the bell. After enough time the dog associated the ringing of the bell with food, and would salivate even if no food was present. This is known as classical conditioning.

SO the title is a combination of ‘Pavlov’ and 'Love’, the title must mean that the subject of the song/ title is someone who is being classically conditioned to love someone or something. It’s pretty sad when you think about it. Someone was being forced to love something

Disclaimer: I tend to read into things and i could be totally wrong

P. S. Have fun with this

Psychology: Learning: Classical Conditioning

Classical Conditioning is learning by association and was developed by Ivan Pavlov [1849-1946]. He was a Russian physiologist, studying digestion in dogs. He based his theory on behaviour that he observed and then tested experimentally in his dogs- a scientific method. His theory helps us to explain involuntary behaviours that are learned or acquired, where one environmental stimulus produces the same behaviour or response as another. 

Pavlov’s dogs would salivate in response to food, but he noticed that they also began to salivate at the sound of his footsteps, or the appearance of the lab assistant! The dogs has learned to associate the lab assistant with the food, and this association was so strong that they began to salivate when they saw the lab assistant or heard footsteps. This was a learned behaviour, as initially they didn’t salivate at the footsteps, but they learned the response because the footsteps were so often paired with food. Salivation is here a learned involuntary behaviour.

A stimulus is something which produces a response. In classical conditioning, it’s either a reflex, or an automatic behaviour

Existing behaviour is an unconditioned response [UCR], a involuntary/reflex action to an unconditioned stimulus [UCS]. The learned behaviour is a conditioned response [CR], and it produced to a conditioned stimulus [CS]. A stimulus which produces no specific response is called a neutral stimulus [NS]. 

Food [UCS] –> Salivation [UCR]

Food [UCS] + Lab Assistant [NS] –> Salivation [UCR]

Lab Assistant [CS] –> Salivation [CR]

Classical Conditioning works by building an association between two stimuli, learning by association. No new behaviour is learned- what has changed is that an existing behaviour is exhibited in response to a new stimulus. 

Pavlov [1927] demonstrated this scientifically, with controls. He used meat, and a bell, with dogs:

Before conditioning: Bell [NS] –> No response

Meat [UCS] –> Salivation [UCR]

During conditioning: Meat [UCS] + Bell [NS] –> Salivation [UCR]

After conditioning: Lab Assistant [CS] –> Salivation [CR]

The UCS & NS need to be paired repeatedly, many or several times, for association to take place. The UCR will be stronger than the CR, and the CR will be slower to start than the UCR. 

Extinction occurs when the association between the UCS & the CS no longer occurs- after a few trials of separating the 2 stimuli, the learned response is extinguished. In one of Pavlov’s examples, the bell was no longer run when food was presented, after a while, the dog no longer salivated at the sound of the bell alone- the association was extinguished! It occurs when the CS is repeatedly presented in the absence of the UCS, and the UCS is presented in the absence of the CS- the CR declines and disappears. 

Spontaneous Recovery is the reappearance of a conditioned response following extinction, for no particular reason. 

Generalisation: The initial CR appears to a wider range of previously NSs, even though they’re not strictly CRs- the CR has been generalised to other stimuli.


21. October 2015

just four pictures out of this beautiful autumn day. I made posters about the psychoanalysis, conditioning and the social cognitive theory. The day is going lovely so far. Feeling good and not stressed at all PLUS it’s my brothers birthday  :))

In(g/t)rained Femininity

So, as I’m guessing pretty much all of you know by now, I’m an animal trainer and have been for some time. It recently struck me how apparent, even in myself, the effects off operant and classical conditioning are in women who’ve effectively been trained to be feminine by society. 

Let’s start with the more well known: 

Classical Conditioning pairs a neutral stimulus with an uncontrolled response. In other words, the subject doesn’t realize they’re learning. Think of the famous Pavlov’s dogs. At first, that bell meant nothing to them; it just happened to sound when they were about to get fed and was therefore a neutral stimulus. The drooling isn’t something they were doing on purpose; it was an uncontrolled response. 

How does this translate to being trained into femininity? Behold:

I was working on rearranging my apartment recently, and just didn’t have much motivation. I decided to put on a bra even though I live alone because wearing a bra makes me feel like I should be doing something. When I was about 11, a neutral stimulus (my bra) was added to a situation that already made me feel productive (going to school, work, etc) and 14 years later I’ve been classically conditioned to feel more productive when I put a bra on. 

The same could easily be said for makeup and, indeed, I used to apply makeup to make myself feel more productive as well. 

But the main difference between the two types of conditioning is that in classical conditioning it’s simply pairing a stimulus with a behavior. There’s no praise, there’s no punishment. That’s all for operant conditioning. 

Operant conditioning tries to induce or eliminate an action using positive and negative rewards and positive and negative punishment. Forget the emotional aspects of ‘positive’ and ‘negative’. Here they just mean ‘to add’ and ‘to take away’. Let’s look at the rewards. 

A girl is wearing a pretty dress. Her family gushes over her, telling her how beautiful she looks. This is a positive reward. They are adding their praise. 

The same girl enjoyed a nice holiday dinner with her family, but now it’s time to clean up. Her mother tells her to just run upstairs and play; she wouldn’t want her to get her pretty dress dirty. This is negative reward; an unpleasant task is being taken away. 

Now let’s look at the punishments.

The same girl says something rude and gets her bottom smacked. This is positive punishment, as the smack was added. Then, because she can’t act like a lady, she’s told to change out of her pretty dress which she adores because of the rewards she received. This is negative punishment; something she likes or desires is being taken away as punishment. Think of another scenario with the same girl, only now she’s asked to play outside. She’s told ‘no’; she’ll get her dress dirty. This is negative punishment as, again, something she likes or desires is being withheld to correct behavior (incorrect behavior being that she wants to play outside rather than wear a pretty dress inside)

Think of how this leaks into society even as adult women. Wearing makeup, pretty clothes, and heels can mean people are nicer to you in general or may even net you a promotion (positive reward) People offering to do things for you (negative reward) Being denied a promotion over a more feminine peer (negative punishment) Being harassed or even assaulted for being GNC (positive punishment). 

So you start to get this:

and once you try to unlearn femininity, you run into another problem. As with any animal I’ve ever worked with, the training never ends. It’s always reinforced and sometimes so subtly you can barely catch it or can’t at all. Sometimes it’s outright, ridiculous, or downright dangerous. But it’s always there. 

Food for thought. 

classical conditioning v. operant conditioning
  1. Pioneers
    - Classical: Ivan Pavlov and John B. Watson
    - Operant: Edward Thorndike and B.F. Skinner

  2. Types of Behaviour
    - Classical: involuntary responses
    - Operant: voluntary responses

  3. Timing of Stimuli
    - Classical: stimuli before response
    - Operant: stimuli following response

  4. Use of Rewards/Punishments
    - Classical: doesn’t use rewards and punishments
    - Operant: uses rewards and punishments