Conditioning is the learning of certain behaviors that They lead us to think and act in a certain way according to our learning, habits and past experiences. It is a behavioral learning, also known as stimulus-response learning, that influences our instinctive behaviors.
In other words, people tend to act in the same way to known stimuli due to the influence of previous learning. Forging responses or automatic associations to different situations. What can be good or bad.
During this article we will investigate the functioning of the conditions to stop being their puppets and thus:
- Gain awareness about our actions and take control over them.
- Learn to identify why we react as we do in different situations.
- Know how conditioning affects our beliefs.
- Reflect on the desirability of our beliefs and goals to adapt them to our interests and improve our well-being.
- Have more realistic perceptions and less distorted by prejudices, thus gaining empathy and understanding of reality.
- 1 What is classical conditioning?
- 2 How can classical conditioning affect our lives?
- 3 What does classical conditioning depend on?
- 4 Wake up beauty: Creativity in the art of love
- 5 We live in poetry: Poems and thoughts in prose
- 6 Emotional conditioning
- 7 Final conclusion and recommendations
What is classical conditioning?
It is a learning through repetition, which leads us to generate automatic responses (patellar reflex), through repeated exposure.
According to Ivan Pavlov (Russian physiologist), conditioned learning is presented as a stimulus that is associated with another stimulus, giving rise to a known response. Pavlov managed to demonstrate what he meant by his famous experiment with dogs. In it he got the animals to salivate and associate the mealtime with the sound of a bell.
We are faced with two types of stimuli, the unconditioned stimulus, and the conditioned stimulus.
In the case of Pavlov's experiment, the bell became the conditioned stimulus (since by itself in the beginning it does not generate changes in the individual). While the food (meat pasta) was the unconditioned stimulus (the real stimulus, the food).
Finally, what the meat paste caused in dogs, salivation, was only caused by the sound of the bell. Without food in between.
When two things usually happen together, the appearance of one will bring the other to mind. Aristotle
This kind of unconditioned stimuli (the bell) also affects us human beings. Thus, the most loyal followers of a brand are strongly conditioned to repeat the purchase of their products. Due to previous learning. Without even looking for information on new products in other brands. Thus conditioning their rational behavior to find the greatest value for their money.
Cognitive Associative Learning
Behavioral scientists believe that classical conditioning is a learning of associations that allow the individual anticipate the image they perceive of their environment.
Each person has a picture of the world (perceptions) unlike any other because of different conditioning as the fruits of their experiences and past learning.
Without doubt, knowing this leads us to several conclusions. Like giving more recognition to skills such as empathy, or incentivize us towards the practice of self and other people's acceptance. That is, a form less prejudices that identify someone with a specific way of being. We thus raise our level of understanding towards the ways of thinking and acting of other people by understanding that we are not as we are because we were born that way, but because of the accumulation of our influences. Which in turn can change and change us.
Therefore, classical conditioning is considered as a cognitive associative learning insofar as it generates new knowledge and expectations about the world.
How can classical conditioning affect our lives?
Past that manipulates our present acts
You may have heard many times expressions like these:
- I cannot study during the day, I can only concentrate at night.
- I don't know what happens to me that I only like bad boys and they end up hurting me.
- How silly I was, I was so in love that I didn't realize that I was being cheated. I was blind.
- I can't do that, I've tried many times and I know it won't come out.
- Exposing in public is fatal, I always get nervous.
Examples like these help us realize how that past learning conditions in our present acts by machining our attitudes to face new challenges and difficulties.
If a person has not done well in their studies, perhaps because of a bad organization or lack of effort, the repetition of a certain number of failures leads them to generate a belief: I study very badly. Leading her to abandon her studies when perhaps she was perfectly capable of obtaining excellent academic results.
To give another example, if a boy has been rejected in love and has lived negative experiences that he has not overcome, this can influence him by making him more introverted and insecure in social settings. Thus minimizing your confidence for face and respond to future rejections.
As in that experiment in which the monkeys no longer took the bananas for fear of taking an electric shock, when in reality the electricity had already been removed, People feel manipulated in our daily lives by various associations.
We end up creating a large number of beliefs and prejudices that do not favor us in order to achieve what we want. Thus altering our perceptions. Which in turn leads us to feel frustration and resignation for not covering our needs as we wanted. What a dilemma!
What does classical conditioning depend on?
Repetition increases the strength of the association between a conditioned and an unconditioned stimulus, also favoring its retention. It is not the same that we have become nervous exposing in public once you live.
However, repetition can also play against and invite us to avoid certain stimuli. An excessive repetition causes a loss of attention, what is known in marketing as "advertising wear".
The way to prevent this wear are the substantive variations, or what is the same, the variety. For example, in terms of attraction and seduction, a person may like us for being sensitive and honest, but if he only gives us that and then it is more bland than some castanets, in the end it will end up boring us. However, if this same person varies those qualities with others such as be adventurous, player and sensual, this wear is less likely to occur. Together influencing some qualities over others. That is, we will value your sincerity more if it is also sensual. Together the variations multiply.
Generalization of the stimulus
The generalization of the stimulus causes a similar response to similar but not equal stimuli. For example, in the case of dogs, Pavlov found that there were subjects who salivated when they heard a bell-like sound. Like some keys. So if a person thinks that he is wrong to study, he will also be reluctant to activities like reading. Even though this reading is about fiction novels.
Another example of generalization of the stimulus is found with the marks. Either product brands or personal brands. If we think that our mother (personal brand) wants all the best for us and we also strongly appreciate her opinion and guidance, we may do what she tells us without rethinking too much. Even if it is not very difficult to identify that you are wrong.
The same goes for blind love. We love someone so much that we don't pay attention to their defects and deceptions even if they are obvious. A clear example is in cases of abuse where despite suffering physically and psychologically, the aggressor is not abandoned. Moreover, their actions are justified despite damaging their own confidence. Justifying him by showing himself as guilty.
As for product brands, a good experience with a particular product of a brand can cause us to think that all the products it manufactures are equally good.
The generalization of the stimulus is very important in order to identify what makes us really happy and not. If a person feels very good while shopping, they may end up obsessing with earning more money to feel more pleasure buying more and more. Perhaps leaving aside other aspects of his life. Causing your happiness is dependent on the act of consuming.
The same is true of emotional dependence and love obsession. By associating consciously or unconsciously, we will only be happy if a certain person loves us and is with us. Another example would be drug addictions, which although they have physical effects, they also have psychological effects. Associating in its consumers aspects such as fun or peace of mind to its consumption.
Discrimination between stimuli
Just as brands try to differentiate their products as much as possible, as individuals we must take these stimuli into account when interacting with others. In this way, We will be better able to intelligently analyze what they think of us. Being able to take action with our communication to influence their conditioned perceptions. Let's see it with an example of my book Wake up beauty, where I explain in greater depth everything we are seeing:
- Reading has always been one of my passions, maybe that's why I graduated in History.
"So, you follow the philosophy of body and mind, right?"
"Well, rather body, mind and spirit." I also like to meditate and reflect on life. I think there is nothing like knowing how to put a beautiful meaning to what I see. Discover the background.
"What do you see now?"
"Right now ..." I answer thoughtfully. I see a closed book that I am looking forward to open to devour each of its pages. That kind of book that you know will shake your senses and make you lose every moral compass. Of those who do not want to never end.
"If you keep talking to me like that, there will hardly be much moral among us." But I warn you, I am not a girl who opens emotionally easily. ”He smiles enigmatically. It will cost you to read this history book.
His voice becomes more sensual. Like a whisper of soft wind that wobbles my senses and unleashes my imagination.
"I wouldn't prefer it any other way," I answer, returning the gesture. Now tell me, what are your passions?
For any inquiries, We're here to answer you.
In this example we can perceive a boy who likes to take care of himself and maintain a body 10 showing his most intellectual side. Speaking of his passion for meditation and reading. Anticipating thus to break those typical prejudices of hollow heads that are sometimes associated with people obsessed with their body. Very smart strategy!
On the other hand, discrimination between stimuli can be broken through a more powerful passion than that of an already established belief. In this chaos we can mention the person who thinks he does not like to study, but given the opportunity to start a business about something he is passionate about, he begins to study with great enthusiasm everything that can help him fulfill his dream. Discovering that learning is not something that dislikes him whenever he finds a utility and is protected under specific objectives.
Automatic emotional responses
When our emotions respond automatically in a similar way to certain stimuli, We say we are emotionally conditioned. This is the most dangerous autopilot, since emotions inject us a lot of energy. If we don't know control these emotions properly, we fall into great losses of consciousness. Come on, we can lose the papers once and once again before the same! Or worse, opt for uncertain paths rather than unprofitable.
There are those who before an attack or reproach of another person immediately light up in anger. Others are accustomed to keeping calm in an almost impassive way. Y Although there are many conditions behind each emotional response, it is undoubtedly the habit that strengthens it the most. Distinguishing also between individuals. We do not react the same to the accusations of our mother, than to those of our girlfriend with whom we have been dating for 3 months. What is said by the way, we are deeply in love.
We often generate even a state of emotional myopia. When we don't see reality because of the alteration that our emotions cause us.
More on emotional myopia in:
Emotional myopia: No one is what it seems
Develop emotional awareness
Fighting this emotional conditioning that we often regret often is not a matter of sewing and singing. It is something that is very attached to our skin. However, as the saying goes, everything is to start.
If we take into account some recommendations, over time we can make great progress. Changes that will help us to be a totally new person with different results. Let's see some:
- Meditate, reflect or write about how we feel and react to certain stimuli.
- Study about emotional intelligence To understand how our emotions work.
- Review our past behaviors, forgive them to heal them, and look for new ways to respond.
- Accept our defects with courage. Without evading or blaming others on them. That courage will help us to change and have information about ourselves.
- Talk to friends or find a professional to help us get what we have inside. Seek advice.
- Read and have an attitude of improvement. During reading we not only learn, we also meditate if we feel involved with the writing.
If we do all this, and also we put a little value and passion to act differently when the time comes. Not only will we change our responses, but we will also live more relaxed and happier.
Improve your self-esteem through conditioning and 6 more factors in: Improve your self-esteem: 7-factor guide
Final conclusion and recommendations
Always keep in mind that your acts can be or be influenced by classical conditioning. Take your time to reflect and meditate on your automatic and instinctive actions. Some people usually have a habit of mentally reviewing what they have done throughout the day at night, mainly before bedtime. At the same time looking for ways to act better than he has done, but always without judging himself negatively. What allows them practice acceptance and boost your self-esteem while helping to improve themselves.
Most of the time we are not aware at the moment in which we act of this kind of conditioning. This leads us to perform wrong acts, such as to treat or unfairly judge other people. Seeing reality in a distorted way.
Now that you know what classical conditioning is, keep it in mind in your thoughts and thoughts, and never lose sight of it again. In this way you will increase your awareness. You will get past judgments that you no longer need. Which will help you increase your ability to live in the present and enjoy your now, as well as let go and face past frustrations.
We own our present and that is what matters most. Take the reins of your now letting go of the past and expired. Don't be a reflection of your wounds. Drink them alcohol if necessary! But remember something, you decide how you want things to affect you and if you want to do them differently. The fastest way to get it? Meditate on it and start acting as you really want. Which ... is a daily process and one of the bravest paths we can take.