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Classical Conditioning As The Learning Type

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Psychology, the study of the mind, the basic understanding of why we do what we do. Contrarily, it is not basic at all, yet it has an abundance of specific terminology and complicated pathways one must learn to understand the true way our minds operate. We act certain ways, and do certain things because of the way our minds are wired. In class, we have learned an assortment of definitions and material about our complicated, yet intriguing mind.

Although some topics have been difficult, studying them has helped me have a deeper understanding of myself and others. In class, we learned about classical conditioning. At first, I did not understand it and I was quite confused, but after some time I got the hang of it. An example of classical conditioning in my life would be a story about pumpkin pie. I hate pumpkin pie. Just the smell of it makes me feel like I have to throw-up. On a chilly fall day, when I was four years old, my mom made pumpkin pie for desert. I used to absolutely love pumpkin pie; It was my favorite desert throughout the year. That night, I threw up. This was not a result of my disgust for pumpkin pie; rather, I had unknowingly had the stomach flu. When I threw up, I could smell the pumpkin pie in a different way now, and ever since then, that is the only way I can think of it. I was classically conditioned by this experience and it has made me think differently of pumpkin pie today. The conditioned stimulus is the smell of pie. I used to love it, but after my experience, it nauseates me. The conditioned response is nausea. This was my uncontrolled response to the pumpkin pie because of the stomach flu. Next, the unconditioned stimulus is the stomach flu. It was naturally triggered because of the bacteria and sickness in my body. Lastly, the unconditioned response is the same as the conditional response which is nausea. This is a natural response that occured from my flu. I experience generalization because pumpkin pie doesn't just make me sick, anything pumpkin still makes me nauseous.

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Ever since I was young, playing basketball has been my hobby; I have played since kindergarten. Discipline has been a prominent action I have received since kindergarten, I learned what to do and what not to do because of it. Foul shots have always been a shot that I make high percentages of, this is because at a young age it was instilled in me to not miss because if I do, I have to run suicides. I will never forget being about seven years old and running sprints after a missed foul shot in practice. This has taught me to not miss, because if I do, it will result in a suicide (or more). Because he disciplined me by giving me a bad consequence after missing a foul shot, my coach used positive punishment on me. He did this to make me decrease missing and make my shooting percentage higher, which worked.

I have learned an assortment of different skills by observing others in different ways. My basketball trainer, for example, demonstrates moves like between the legs or some crazy move. By watching him do certain moves, I can imitate him and learn for myself. There have been multiple times where I watch a player in a basketball game do a superb move. After I watch him/her do a move, I try and imitate the player in my game the next time I play. For instance, I watch Steph Curry intently during his games in the NBA, I try and imitate his shot and his moves to the basket. Lastly, in math, whenever my teacher shows on the board how to do a certain problem, I watch him over and over and then copy what he did. By doing so, I am using observational learning because I am observing and learning.

Overall, learning about the ways our mind works from different types of learning and discipline helps me because I can not only use this information for myself, but for the future whether that may be discipling my own children or in a job I may have. Before taking psychology, I had no idea why my mind did certain things. Learning classical conditioning, operant conditioning, observational learning, extinction, generalization, and discrimition has helped me further understand myself since my childhood.

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Classical Conditioning As The Learning Type. (2021, September 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 9, 2023, from
“Classical Conditioning As The Learning Type.” Edubirdie, 29 Sept. 2021,
Classical Conditioning As The Learning Type. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 9 Dec. 2023].
Classical Conditioning As The Learning Type [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Sept 29 [cited 2023 Dec 9]. Available from:
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