Monday, May 23, 2011

Post 1 Chapter 3

In Chapter 3 we discussed Elicit Behaviors, Simple Mechanisms of Learning, and Classical Conditioning. An elicit behavior is one that is automatically drawn out by a certain stimuli. A reflex is the most basic form of these. Several noteworthy reflexes are the Startle Response, a defensive reaction to a sudden unexpected stimulus, and the orienting response, when we automatically position ourselves to facilitate attending to a stimulus (turning around when something taps your shoulder). A good example of these reflexes is demonstrated in the video at this link.
Simple Mechanisms of learning that I found most interesting were Habituation and Sensitization.
Habituation is a decrease in strength of an elicited behavior following repeated presentations of the eliciting stimulus. The best example I can think of in my everyday life is when I drive by the gas pumps. The price at the pumps would be the stimulus and the behavior was a knee jerk reaction, then you get used to it. Eventually, dishabituation ensues. Dishabituation is a return of the habituated response following the presentation of a seemingly irrelevant stimulus. The irrelevant stimulus in my continuing example is when gas goes down 2 cents. Its really irrelevant, because then you realize that it costs $66 dollars to fill our tank instead of $67.
Sensitization is the opposite, its an increase in the strength of an elicit behavior following repeated presentations of the eliciting stimulus. The following video is a good example of sensitization

1 comment:

  1. Great example of sensitization! The coughing one is one that I would eventually fall victim too. Those with tendencies of road rage are people that can be difficult to deal with. Opposite to your notion of sensitization, I have gotten desensitized to people driving here after I stayed in the Philippines for a few years. The traffic issues there is a daily dilemma! The driving time to one's destination could take up to three to four the normal drive time. When you hit traffic, three lanes could become four lanes, people can cut you off, motorcyclists drive between vehicles, etc. It was crazy to adjust to the first six months of my stay. The only way to fix this problem is to just remain calm and you in turn will eventually get to your point B. So, when I came back here and drove in NYC or Philly, I had no problem. I always think , "I've been through so much worse." I consider the worst drivers here in the US mild compared to what I have dealt with in the past. Lesson learned in maintaining my cool.