Tag Archives: Conditioning

Taste Aversion

Taste aversion states that humans are apt to have an aversion to food if they become sick afterwards. This is an example of classical conditioning, which is a type of learning in which individuals learn to associate stimuli. If you associate a certain food with getting sick, you are more likely to avoid eating that food. The example we discussed in class was how taste aversion was used against predators. Farmers would inject sheep with a poison that would make wolves sick if they ate the sheep. As time passed, the wolves began to associate getting sick with eating the sheep. Due to this association, the wolves would literally run in the other direction when they saw a sheep.

This type of association is also seen in humans. When I was about 7 or 8 years old I remember playing outside and my mother brought me Snyder’s honey mustard pretzel bites. Shortly after eating them I got sick and threw up. I remember it like it was yesterday and to this day, about 12 years later, I still will not eat that type of pretzels. This has occurred multiple times over the past few years but none as bad as the pretzel incident. We discussed in class how some taste aversions only last for a few days while other can last years. For me, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to eat that type of Snyder’s pretzels ever again.

Operant Conditioning

Operant conditioning

  B.F.Skinner is the most influential person in behaviorism, he found out a concept called operant conditioning. It is types of study that the behavior will strengthen when there is reinforcement or the behavior is weaken when followed by s punishment. In operant conditioning, we learn the association between our behavior and the following consequences.

There are many examples are operant conditioning, like students write their homework to win the compliment or reward from their parents, the same way that stuff finish a good project and want to receive the praise or promotion from their boss.

In our family, we have 2 golden retriever and we had them since they are really young and small. We tend to train them how to sit, lie, row, stand up and shake hands. At first these two doggy don’t know what to do, but with time, they seemed to found out, once they do specific behavior after the specific “order”, they will get pat or snack or going out some kind of reward. This is called positive reinforcement in psychology.

In the other way, when the two doggy pee and poo in the wrong place like bedroom or living room, people will shout out loud and will punishment them. With the time and observing the other dog, they all find out that when they pee and poo in the bathroom, they not only will not get punishment but also will get the compliment. so they know how it work and since then, they do their business in the bathroom.

So, this an example in my home, typically a operant conditioning, two dogs associate their behaviors with the results they get, whether is punishment or compliment, with the time past, two doggies what to do after the specific order. The dolphin, tiger or any animals in the zoo go through the operant conditioning. Especially when we saw the dolphin show, when the trainer send out a signal or a hand gesture the dolphin do specific movement and get back to the trainer to have a fish. There are many examples like that all called operant conditioning.

Muzi Li


The term behaviorism refers to the school of psychology based on the belief that behaviors can be measured, trained, and changed. Its believed that all behaviors are acquired through conditioning. In particular, classical conditioning is a learning process used in behavioral training. A person or animal can be trained so that different events or stimuli trigger an automatic reflex creating a new learned behavior. When I heard of this I immediately thought of my favorite show The Office. There’s an episode based on Pavlov’s dog theory. The character Jim spends several weeks conditioning his co-worker Dwight to desire a mint whenever his computer reboots and makes the patented bell sound. He does this by offering Dwight a seemingly innocent altoid every time his computer reboots. This goes on for a while and each time Jim computer makes the bell sound he gives Dwight an altoid. When Jim reboots his computer for the final time, Dwight places his hand out ready to accept a mint. Jim asks what he is doing, which Dwight responds “I don’t know” and states his mouth tastes so bad all of a sudden. At this point Dwight has associated the sound of the bell with receiving a mint. After hearing the sound Jims computer makes Dwight automatically has a feeling of bad breath and responds by putting his hand out expecting an altoid. It is clear that over time he has been conditioned to learn a new behavior. The funny thing is that he doesn’t even realize it. Similar results were found in Pavlov’s experiment with dogs. It was found that salivation in dogs associated with being fed. He noticed that his dogs would begin to salivate whenever he entered the room even if he was not bringing them food. I thought this was very interesting and I really enjoy the concept of behaviorism.