Thursday, June 23, 2022


Research around forms of communication beyond human language has produced important information about animal communication. In this sense, there are two linguistic laws that have been observed in species other than the human species. One of them is an indirect relationship between the length of words and the frequency of their use. This law has been observed in the communication, both oral and gestural, of different animals, in addition to the human being. On the other hand, there is another law which is based on the fact that the longest communication sequences are formed from shorter elements. After observing a group of chimpanzees, a team of researchers has been able to derive the first evidence that these laws are fulfilled in the gestural communication of these animals.

In addition to using gestures with their limbs, chimpanzees communicate with noises, facial gestures, and body postures. In this regard, according to the researchers, the gestures used by chimpanzees to communicate follow the same rules associated with human language.

Washoe, a chimpanzee born in the wild in West Africa in 1965, is the subject of an investigation at the University of Nevada, which aimed to teach Washoe American Sign Language. Washoe learned to identify sadness and express it in sign language, she knew how to lie or even apologize. The most surprising thing is that she transmitted American Sign Language from generation to generation: Washoe's son died a few days after birth, but they found an orphaned chimpanzee calf which she received with love.

In addition, the scientists also observed that, after learning sign language, other chimpanzees managed to have conversations with each other in that language. Washoe and sign language totally changed the way of understanding communication and even respect for the animal world.


Exposure-based therapy is a process widely used within cognitive behavioral therapy, which consists of modifying the sensitivity to stimuli that produce anguish or fear, through exposure therapy the patient is put in systematic and safe contact with the situation that affects him. generates conflict or with stimuli that trigger anxiety, fear or that produce negative emotions, with which a new learning can be established: extinction, which contributes to weaken previously learned associations, so that the person has more opportunities to elaborate an action above the initially established fear, one of its objectives is desensitization. Generally, exposure is suggested gradually and assessing different variables and personal factors of the patient, rather than a sudden immersion.

As the world continues to develop new technologies, it also improves treatments in the mental health field. In exposure therapy there are several risk factors. For example, when confronting a phobia of arachnids, there is a danger that the animal will attack. In this type of therapy there may be situations that are not under the full control of the researchers or therapists, and there are possibilities of creating unforeseen reaction without any control. It is difficult to predict the behavior of an animal, in the case of dealing with phobias related to animals. For this reason, a new intervention has emerged thanks to the use of new technologies that provide a controlled and safe environment for this type of therapy. Virtual reality technology has become very popular because it offers an infinity of simulations of situations that can help, without any risk, the development of this therapy. “We conclude that VR is a useful tool to improve exposure therapy and it can be a good option to analyze the processes and mechanisms involved in exposure therapy and the ways this strategy can be enhanced.” (Botella et al., 2017).


Botella, C., Fernández-Álvarez, J., Guillén, V. et al. Recent Progress in Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy for Phobias: A Systematic Review. Curr Psychiatry Rep 19, 42 (2017).

Learned helplessness and depression

 Powell et al. define learned helplessness as, "A decrease in one's learning ability that has occurred due to a repeated exposure to an uncontrollable stimulus that produced adverse outcomes" (2017). Learned helplessness is a phenomena that can occur in not only adults, but animals as well. 

Learned helplessness can be present in many people with depression. They may feel as though no matter what they do, the feeling of despair and hopelessness will not go away. Therefore they stop trying to make positive changes in their life and continue on in a depressed state.  

Attending therapy, journaling, talking to loved ones, or even a simple walk can help stimulate the brain of those living with depression and can help the learned helplessness acquired, dissipate. 


There are two sides to the punishment both positive and negative. Positive punishment is adding more chores to a list of chores they already have. By adding more chores to what they already have to do. Spanking them so they learn from what they have done so they can learn the season. While the negative punishment would be taking something away from them which is their phone, and television time, and restricting them from going out with their friends. The way you interact with the child can either cause the child to behave the proper way or just cause the child to continue to do what they are not supposed to do. Some parents believe spanking is a way children will learn while other people think spanking is not something that should be done. There are positive and negative effects to this kind of punishment. It is seen that punishment "often has a short-term effect and, on its own, doesn't offer information or instruction on what the preferred behavior should be" ( High 5 Test, 2022). Spanking can cause a negative and positive act because of the results it may cause among the child. On my behalf I belive there is a certain extent to spank a child. Maybe a small slap but not to brutally hit them.,an%20example%20of%20negative%20reinforcement.

ADHD in the pandemic

 ADHD is a term used frequently to describe someone who has trouble staying still, or focusing on one specific task for too long. While this term is used broadly to characterize many people, it is a disorder that many people struggle with on a daily basis. Some symptoms include; inability to sit still, constantly picking or fidgeting with object around them, consistent talking, being disorganized, poor time management. There is a plethora of symptoms, and not every individual with ADHD will have every single symptom. 

The pandemic made people who live with ADHD have a much more difficult time. Forcing people with ADHD to stay inside, with not much stimulation heightened the symptoms for these people, and caused above normal stress levels for this time period. 

Recommendations for people during the pandemic with ADHD included; establishing a routine, getting outdoors frequently, finding enjoyable activities to do while inside, staying connected with people you normally would. 


Violence in the Media

 Media violence and the repercussions of behavior has been a topic discussed in many of my psychology classes. I remember in Intro to Psych this topic was brought up and we had to discuss if we thought violence portrayed in the media (video games, tv, movies etc.) could truly influence the viewers behavior. 

Studies have shown that males react more quickly in their aggression after viewing violent media. Males are often portrayed as the aggressor as well. Showing why studies have shown that females are more accepting when males are violent, because it is something they have somewhat 'normalized' from television or movies. 

The Problem with Standardized Testing


        Almost everyone can remember a time they have taken a standardized test. Some examples of standardized tests include SATs, ACTs, or state tests. They are suppose to show how smart a person. A lot of times it can help determine what kind of college they are going to. Many researchers are starting to determine that standardized tests are not the most accurate predictor of intelligence. 

    According to Britannica, the pro of standardized tests are that they can show how well measurement of the education of a district and gauge areas of improvement. However, the con is that the tests are aimed only for students who are good at taking the tests. There are so many factors that can influence the test such as stress, hunger, lack of sleep, problems at home, and many more. There are also stereotypes that can be threatening to students to make them think they won't do well because they are a part of a certain group. Lastly, these tests are not a good predictor of future success. One of the main points of the test to see if the person will do well in college however, it does not do very well at telling that. Just because the student didn't score well on their SAT, does not mean they are going to fail all their classes and fail at college. They could go to college and excel despite how bad they do on their SATs.   

    I find this topic very interesting because I often get stressed about standardized tests and do not do as well as I can. Anxiety that I am going to get it wrong kicks in, and I end up getting wrong. I think it is wrong that they are something that helps determine whether someone is going to get into college or not. Standardized tests are not real life. There will never be a time where you are sat down and have to remember everything from your head. There are people around you to ask if you don't know something, as well as the internet. Also, everyone grows up differently and learns different things. There is no way to fairly give a test to everyone because not everyone has the same advantages are others. Standardized tests are outdated and should be changed to something that can more accurately a predictor of someone's intelligence. The video does a really good job at talking and explaining it and is very informative. 


Britannica. (2022, February 17). Standardized Testing Pros and Cons - does it improve education? Standardized Tests. Retrieved June 23, 2022, from,not%20predictors%20of%20future%20success.

YouTube. (2017). Should we get rid of standardized testing. YouTube. Retrieved June 23, 2022, from


Phobia is when an individual "learns to make the avoidance response early in the chain of events so as to minimize the effort of avoiding" ( Powell, 341). It's something that gives you an overwhelming feeling to want to avoid it due to the fear. There are different types of phobias that are seen all around the world. There are some of the weirdest to normal phobias. I actually have a sensory phobia of cotton or cotton balls. Which is called sidonglobophobia. I can hold a cotton ball and use a cotton ball but when I use a cotton ball and rip it apart I hate the feeling. It gives me goosebumps. I did some research and it was stated that the actual feeling of pulling the cotton ball apart causes friction which gives off the goosebump feeling. Something interesting that I discovered was that Micheal Jackson had a fear of cotton balls. As weird as it sounds it is the word feeling of having cotton balls being ripped apart.

Weird Phobias


    Phobias are things people are afraid of for no particular reason. To be considered a phobia however, they must have an unreasonable or overwhelming fear of the specific thing. A lot of people have phobias of things such as spiders and snakes. However, some people have a phobia of things that would be considered unusual such as a fear of the color yellow or holes/buttons. No matter what the phobia is, most people often experience many symptoms. Some of those symptoms include: anxiety, feeling nauseous, getting dizzy, or having difficulty breathing.

    Whatever the phobia is, many people wonder how people get these phobias. According to the mayo clinic, it can be caused by the most obvious reason of having a bad experience with that specific thing. However, the mayo clinic also says that genetic factors also have to do with it as well as environmental factors. They can also develop at any age. All specific phobias have names. Some common ones are: Arachnopobia, which is the fear of spiders and Ophidiophobia, which is the fear of snakes. Addtionally, some are more rare. These can include: Nomophobia, which is fear of being without your cell phone and Linonophobia, which is fear of string. 

    I find phobias very interesting because some of them do not make a lot of sense. An example is the phobia of the color yellow. What makes people scared of the color yellow? One guess, since mayo clinic says that a tragic event could of happened, is that something bad happened to them while someone was wearing yellow. Therefore, they may unconsciously think of that event; if it happened when they were young. It would be interesting to study and find out exactly why people get such a fear of the weirder things. Snakes and spiders are understandable because they can cause harm since some are poisonous. However, string and the color yellow often can not cause harm, therefore the fear is more interesting. I wanted to study phobias because my friend has trypophobia, or the fear of holes. I find the fact that holes scare her so much to be very interesting and wanted to learn more.  

List of weird phobias


 M. C. S. (2016, October 19). Specific phobias. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved June 23, 2022, from,to%20genetics%20or%20learned%20behavior.

Hull, M. (2022, May 4). 21 rare, irrational, and weird phobias you've likely not heard of. The Recovery Village Drug and Alcohol Rehab. Retrieved June 23, 2022, from


Self-Control, Impulsiveness, and Gratification

    Overcoming impulsiveness and mastering the art of self control are two things that are extremely crucial in today’s age of instant gratification. However, this is much easier said than done. According to the text, “immediate consequences are generally more powerful than delayed consequences, a fact that can readily lead to suboptimal choices” (Powell et al., 2017). The task of choosing a larger later reward versus a smaller sooner reward, known as a delay of gratification, is a task where self-control is primordial. On the contrary, choosing a smaller sooner reward over a larger later reward is known as instant gratification which often results from impulsiveness. For this reason, people may find themselves in unfavorable situations due to impatience and lack of self control.

    With each day that passes by, I see how impatient we as a society are growing, with a significantly declining attention span, and always looking for instant gratification not only due to quick and easy access to the internet, but also due to the consuming presence of social media in our daily lives. This in turn translates to many other aspects of our day to day when partaking in destructive habits in search of that instant gratification. The text provides a very useful means for facilitating self-control. The chapter claims that early commitment to the larger later reward, made before the smaller sooner reward becomes near, can serve to lower the smaller sooner reward's value such that it stays below the larger later reward's value. I completely agree with this, and although it does take much more effort, it is definitely worth it in the end. Below I have attached a TedTalk that really helps elucidate the topic of self control and how to develop it.

Powell, R. A., Honey, P. L., & Symbaluk, D. G. (2017). Introduction to Learning and Behavior (5th

    ed.). Cengage Learning. 


Specific phobias are an overwhelming and irrational fear of objects or situations that pose little real danger but cause anxiety and avoidance behaviors. Unlike a brief moment of anxiety you might feel when you give a speech or take a test, specific phobias are long-lasting, produce intense physical and psychological reactions, and can affect your ability to function normally at work, school, or social environments. Specific phobias are among the most common anxiety disorders; not all phobias need treatment. However, if a particular phobia affects your daily life, various therapies can help you process and overcome your fears, often permanently.

A few years ago, I realized that I was afraid of clowns and thought it was a phobia. Surprisingly, there exists a phobia for clowns that is called Coulrophobia. Coulrophobia is the extreme, intense, irrational fear of clowns. It can be either just seeing it in pictures and videos or their presence. It is interesting how phobias were created or installed in our brains. Most of the time, phobias are created due to an early traumatic experience. When it comes to traumas, we don't need to remember what happened. Traumatic events supposed such a heavy emotional charge that the brain repressed the memory as a self-protective mechanism. According to the psychodynamic theory, repression is one of those defense mechanisms, and it is strongly tied with traumas and phobias.

I needed to differentiate between a phobia and a fear. I recognized that I feared clowns, but it was not severe. For instance, I was not afraid of watching videos or pictures of clowns. However, in the presence of a clown, I would feel uncomfortable and anxious. While evaluating my fear, I wanted to know where my fear of clowns originated. When I was very little, my older brother had the book IT by Stephen King; I guess from reading that book, I created a fear of clowns.

Cleveland Clinic Editors. (2021). Coulrophobia (fear of clowns): Causes and treatment. Cleveland Clinic., from,fear%20of%20clowns%20is%20coulrophobic.

No Such Thing as Learning Styles?

Learning Technologies: Visual – Auditory – Kinesthetic | maxwell.427's Site

  For many years, people have been learning about learning styles. They teach it in Psychology 101, and I even remember learning about it in science class. Everyone had to take tests online to find out which learner they are. The most popular ones are a visual learner or an auditory learner. For visual learners that means that they learn better by seeing things and for auditory learners that means they learn better by hearing things. 

    Knowing I wanted to write about one of these types of learning styles, I looked up learning styles, I looked it up. I saw that they found new evidence that learning styles are not real. There is not enough evidence to prove that learning styles are real. According to APS or Association for Psychological Science, many tests have been done to try and prove that there are different types of learners, however there is not enough randomized research to prove that this is credible. "Existing literature on learning styles and finds that although numerous studies have purported to show the existence of different kinds of learners (such as “auditory learners” and “visual learners”), those studies have not used the type of randomized research designs  that would make their findings credible" (APS).

    I find this very interesting because I remember taking multiple tests in high school and even middle school to try and find out what kind of learner I am. I always got visual learner and I do feel I do learn better when I am shown things. Therefore, I found these findings very interesting. I also started looking at other articles saying the same thing, but they are bringing up the point that everyone learns when shown different things depending on the subject. I do feel this is true. I will probably learn subjects like language, better when listening to it, however, I would probably learn instructions how to do something by being shown how to. I would love to see more research done of this to confirm this theory. It is important to know how people learn in order to teach people most effectively. 

 More information here: Learning styles don't exist


Furey, W. (2022, January 12). The stubborn myth of "Learning styles". Education Next. Retrieved June 23, 2022, from

Learning styles debunked: There is no evidence supporting auditory and ... Association for Psychological Science. (2009). Retrieved June 24, 2022, from

Avoidance Conditioning and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

    Avoidance conditioning is characterized by the development of behavior(s) that delays or prevents adverse input. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a disorder identified by recurrent thoughts, urges, and/or behaviors that are carried out in response to obsessions. When taken as a whole, avoidance conditioning can have a significant impact on obsessive-compulsive disorders, where obsessions cause anxiety to rise and can be relieved by engaging in compulsive behavior or avoidance.

    This topic intrigued me because, the further I read, the more I related. Personally, I consider myself to be someone who feels the need to be in control of situations at all times, more often than not putting 100% of the responsibility on myself because otherwise I feel overwhelmingly anxious and, frankly, out of control. Although at times I feel that this has worked in my favor in certain situations such as planning events, carrying out school projects, etc., it also has caused a lot of unnecessary stress and anxiety due to constant overthinking and obsession. On the note of avoidance, when I fear I am not in control of a situation, I tend to completely remove myself from it, or remain in it, although with constant anxiety. For me, it is one of two extremes: all or nothing. According to the text, “people with OCD also have a tendency to feel personally responsible for events that are highly improbable. They therefore carry out various safety actions, such as rechecking doors and stoves, that other people would not bother with” (Powell et al., 2017). Something that I found very interesting was the difference in how people with OCD and without OCD handle intrusive thoughts. I, for example, have a million thoughts running through my head constantly, and I easily let them consume me. As a result, I find myself trying so hard to control my thoughts that I cause myself even more stress. Therefore, finding out that this is not something standard is a bit difficult to grasp. The video below really helps analyze experiential avoidance and obsessive compulsive disorder.

Powell, R. A., Honey, P. L., & Symbaluk, D. G. (2017). Introduction to Learning and Behavior (5th

    ed.). Cengage Learning. 

Schedules of Reinforcement and Relationships

    A schedule of reinforcement is defined as the criteria that must be met in order to obtain a reinforcement. In order to understand this, it is important to note that reinforcement, as defined through a psychological lens, is an action that influences a subject's future behavior due to a certain stimulus or set of stimuli. There are various types of schedules of reinforcement which include continuous, intermittent, duration, response-rate, noncontingent, conjunctive, and adjusting reinforcement. In this post, I will be expounding upon one of the four intermittent schedules of reinforcement that particularly caught my attention: the variable ratio (VR) schedule.

    According to the text, on a variable ratio (VR) schedule, “reinforcement is contingent upon a varying, unpredictable number of responses” (Powell et al., 2017). This means that the reinforcement, or the action that influences a subject’s future behavior, is dependent on an erratic, undetermined variable. Examples of this in the real world include sports betting, gambling, the lottery, etc. where, due to the unpredictable nature of the activity, there is a high rate of behavior in attempts to heighten the possibility of a reward. What I found particularly interesting is how this can translate into the development of a toxic relationship. In the beginning stages of a relationship, also known as the “honeymoon phase” oftentimes both parties shower each other with love, creating dense positive reinforcement. As time goes on, however, this reinforcement may become intermittent, leading to an imbalance. In such a case, there may be one partner, the victimizer, that is now providing the positive reinforcement extremely intermittently, causing the other partner, the victim, to work extra hard in order to obtain said lacking positive reinforcement. Furthermore, this may then reinforce the victimizer to continue to ignore the victim because they are now receiving even more attention from them (the victim). Ultimately relationships like these may result in one of several ways: either the couple stays in this volatile, toxic, roller-coaster of a relationship, or the relationship eventually collapses, and so on.

    In today’s age of instant gratification, the effects of a variable ratio schedule can be seen almost everywhere, but perhaps most evidently in relationships. Oftentimes it is seen how relationships that were once 50/50 have now become one sided leading to insecurities and trust issues. Despite this, the “victim” tends to stay because of the erratic, undetermined positive reinforcement that is eventually provided by the victimizer. After having read the chapter, I am fascinated that there is actually a science behind this and that it is more than just emotion. The video attached below provides a more concise explanation on the topic of variable ratio schedules which really aided in my comprehension of it.

Powell, R. A., Honey, P. L., & Symbaluk, D. G. (2017). Introduction to Learning and Behavior (5th

    ed.). Cengage Learning. 


 Take a minute and read these short couple sentences.


Did you find it difficult? Here's what it actually says. 

    This example, from TedEd on Youtube, is a simulation that is supposed to show what having dyslexia is like. A majority of people believe that have dyslexia means that people with this disorder see words backwards. Example, "d" and "b". However, having dyslexia is much more complex than that. People with dyslexia can still see the same way an average person can, they just have difficulties analyzing words. Words like "schedule" can be broken down into smaller parts in order to fully be able to be understood such as "sched-u-le". This is why a people with dyslexia may be slower in writing an essay than an average person. 

    An average person have two hemispheres in the brain, the right and the left. The left is responsible for things such as a language and communication whereas the right is responsible for things such as creativity and actions. People with dyslexia have more access to the right part of the brain and the frontal lobe of the left. Since there is little access to the left part of the brain, language and writing is more delayed since it has to be forced to travel in that part of the brain. This is why we see a lot of artists and singers such as Cher and Picasso who have dyslexia, but are able to channel more into the creative side of their brain. Some cases can be more and less severe than others. Dyslexia can also be genetic. One member in the family can have trouble spelling and another could have trouble decoding simple words. 

    Everyone's dyslexia is different and none of them are the same. My roommate, who is very open about her dyslexia, has trouble spelling and decoding and analyzing words. She usually zooms in very close on the screen to depict what she is writing about. She can take a longer time to write something, but at the end her work is immaculate. She has had straight A's because of the hard work she has always put into everything she does for school even with dyslexia. She is also very creative when it comes to art. She uses the right side of her brain to create amazing things such as bracelets, rings, shirts, bags, paintings, etc. She is an example of someone with dyslexia who doesn't let it hinder her, but challenge her to do better and be the best she can be. Because of this, I was ecstatic to write and educate myself more on dyslexia and I hope you can educate yourselves, too.

Non-Medicinal Treatments for ADHD

    Doctor Ned Hallowell has a book called ADHD 2.0 where he discusses different ways of treating those with ADHD and includes ones that do not involve medicine. Those with ADHD can experience behavioral problems that average humans do not face. This may include hyperactivity and anger due to frustration with school, work, and overall life. These treatments are set to help wrangle these symptoms of ADHD and make it more tolerable. The first one he describes is cerebellum stimulation. The cerebellum is responsible for over 70% of the neurons in the brain, which seems to be overlooked in the medical community. The cerebellum corresponds to the frontal lobe in the brain which is responsible for the actions of ADHD. Hallowell says that physical exercise daily can help stimulate the cerebellum and help reduce the symptoms of ADHD which includes focus and memory. 

    Hallowell also reiterates finding a partner and or career that is right for the person with ADHD. Finding a partner who can understand ADHD and work with one with it is extremely challenging but beneficial at the end. A career that can be beneficial for someone with ADHD is important, as well. Anything that can help stimluate the cerebellum, being active, or creative can help embrace the symptoms instead of suppressing them. Along with this, Hallowell's number one treatment is finding the "right difficult". He explains that finding an outlet to embrace and release all of the energy into one enjoyable hobby lets the ADHD roam without hindering one's life. Dancing, training, art, writing, singing, plus many more active and creative outlets would be beneficial for someone with ADHD. 



ADHD and Learning

ADHD, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, is a disorder many people are diagnosed with as children. Symptoms of ADHD include hyperactivity, impulsive decision making, difficulties concentrating (Johansen et al., 2009). Back in 2009, 5% of kids worldwide were diagnosed with this disorder and in 2016 the number jumped to around 10% of kids worldwide had ADHD (Johansen et al., 2009). ADHD amongst kids makes it especially difficult for them in school to learn new things. As a 22-year-old adult recently diagnosed with ADHD, I can attest to this. Paying attention in class and retaining information made it difficult for me, and others alike, to do well on quizzes, tests, homework, and even post-high school tasks. I've tried many things such as various studying techniques, medications, calendar-keeping, and journal writing to help keep my life from derailing from the tracks. There has been numerous times where these techniques have helped, but mostly didn't. 

    I've always questioned why retaining and memorizing information was so hard for me. I found an article about altered reinforcement effects in ADHD which can help explain why some learning reinforcements can be perceived different to a brain of someone with ADHD. In our brain, we have catecholamines which are responsible for response selection and memory formation (Johansen et al., 2009). We also have dopamine which is important for reinforcement of good behavior (Johansen et al., 2009). When there are changes, or alterations in these two important parts of the brain, there is a delay in responses and retention. This is called the delay of reinforcement gradient (Johansen et al., 2009). This specific delay is responsible for missing pieces of memory, lack of attention, random memories of irrelevant events, and a decreased amount of dopamine (Johansen et al., 2009). These pieces of information help therapists treat children and even adults with ADHD. Because our brains work a little differently than the average's, therapists have to use specific therapy techniques to correspond with our delayed brains. If you are reading this and have diagnosed ADHD and can't remember where you put your keys that are you in your hand, you can now blame your catecholamines.

Johansen, E., Killeen, P. R., Russell, V. A., Tripp, G., Wickens, J. R., Tannock, R., Williams, J., & Sagvolden, T. (2009). Origins of altered reinforcement effects in ADHD. Behavioral and Brain Functions, 5(1), 7.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Learned Helplessness

 One area of the text that stood out was the phenomenon of learned helplessness. Learned helplessness is a decrease in one’s learning ability that has occurred due to repeated exposure to aversive events that are uncontrollable (Powell et al., 2017). This theory was learned through an experiment by Seligman and Maier (Powell et al., 2017). In this experiment, dogs would be suspended in a harness and exposed to one of three conditions which includes inescapable-shock condition, escapable-shock condition, and no-shock control condition. After this, the dogs were then placed in a procedure where they would have to learn to avoid the shock by jumping over a barrier. The no-shock control condition and escapable-shock condition successfully learned to avoid the shock. On the other hand, the inescapable-shock condition group made no effort to avoid the shock and would be in distress. This shows that when exposed to an event that one has no control over it can make it more difficult to learn since it makes it seem that any attempt will be useless.  

This part of the text was interesting since this can apply to many people that struggle in school or with mental health. The text points out that people who struggled in math growing up may continue to be anxious when it comes to math in adulthood. Learned helplessness may also be shown through depression in cases where uncontrollable events occur like death in family or loss of job. Therefore, this phenomenon may explain some of the reasons why some people have these mental experiences. The good news is that learned helplessness can be eliminated if those affected are forced to escape the unavoidable event. In the case of the dog, they repeatedly dragged the dog over the barrier to help it learn. Below is a video that depicts this phenomenon.  



Powell, R. A., Honey, P. L., & Symbaluk, D. G. (2017). Introduction to Learning and Behavior (5th ed.). Cengage Learning. 

Exposure to Media Violence

 Badura has found through his research that film violence is just as effective as live violence is at producing more violent behaviors in those that see it (Powell et al., 2017). This is thought to be enhanced considering how much mass media is expanding. Many studies have found that there are sex differences between how violent video games affect them. For males, they are more likely to show effects, have a more hostile view of the world, and are more aggressive from the video games. Females are more likely to restrain their aggression for longer and are also more aggressive if aggressive model is a female too. This shows that since most of the violence in video games and media is done by males, this may explain that women have become more accepting of males being violent.  

One part of this part of the textbook that really stood out to me was how violence in the media is not only making males more aggressive but may also be making females more vulnerable to being victims of aggression. This is because being exposed to violence from such a youthful age is desensitizing violence to females and making them feel that it is normal and acceptable to be treated in a violent manner. I also found it interesting to learn why witnessing violence is increasing aggression and desensitizing it has not been clearly reported in media. Media outlets share balance sides to this topic but fail to share that the vast majority believe that media violence is dangerous. Below is a TedTalk that I found to be highly informative about how we are becoming desensitized to violence.  



Powell, R. A., Honey, P. L., & Symbaluk, D. G. (2017). Introduction to Learning and Behavior (5th ed.). Cengage Learning. 

Sign Language Experiments

One topic from the text that I found interesting was the sign language experiments. Experimenters first decided that chimpanzees would be best to first test if animals could “talk” since they share many similar characteristics to humans. After it was discovered that chimps were not able to produce speech that was understandable, they wanted to test if they were able to perform other forms of languages. In these experiments, experimenters would teach chimpanzees sign language through day-to-day activities. Teaching through day-to-day activities allowed for it to be learned in a similar way that human children learn language. Therefore, these chimps would be raised like humans are. The first study was called Project Washoe where the chimp was named Washoe and was raised by two experimenters. Washoe was successful at learning sign language which led to more studies being conducted in order to try to replicate the findings from Project Washoe.  

I found this piece to be very intriguing since often animals are thought of to be “stupid” and cannot understand human language. These studies show that communication with animals is possible, and they are intelligent. This part of the text also discusses the best ways to train these apes was through modeling and molding. Modeling is when one demonstrates the sign while performing what the sign is about and molding is when the put the ape’s hand in the right position then associate that position with the object being discussed (Powell et al., 2017). This could be proved to be useful in further teaching of language for both humans and animals alike. Many people are teaching their babies from early ages ASL to be able to communicate with them prior to verbal language being developed. People are also teaching their pets other ways to communicate. An example I have seen of this is owners laying buttons down that say a phrase when pushed. A person’s animal will push it to let them know what they want. After reading the textbook, I furthered my studies on this topic and found a video on another ape named Koko who was taught ASL after Project Washoe. I found watching the apes have conversations with humans through ASL to be even more fascinating than just reading about it. 



Powell, R. A., Honey, P. L., & Symbaluk, D. G. (2017). Introduction to Learning and Behavior (5th ed.). Cengage Learning. 

Little Albert


Classical Conditioning, Little Albert. Page 181, Watson and Rayner’s “Little Albert”. Cited as, the importance of classical conditioning and overgeneralization in the development of phobias was first proposed by John B. Watson and Rosalie Rayner. In 1920, Watson and Rayner published a now-famous article in which they described their attempt to condition a fear response in an 11-month-old infant named Albert. Albert was reported to be a healthy, well-developed child, whose mother worked as a wet nurse in the hospital where the tests were conducted. Albert was described as a “stolid and unemotional” child who almost never cried. In fact, he seemed to display an unusual level of emotional stability.

                The researchers began the experiment by testing Albert’s reactions to a variety of objects. These included a white rat, a rabbit, a dog, some cotton wool, and even a burning newspaper. None of the objects elicited any fear, and in fact Albert often attempted to handle them. He was, however, startled  when the experimenters made a loud noise by banging a steel bar with a hammer. The experimenters thus concluded that the loud noise was an unconditioned stimulus that elicited a fear response (or, more specifically, a startled reaction) whereas the other objects, such as the rat, were neutral stimuli with respect to fear. Without further explanation this experiment was flawed as there was no foundation for a two-sided conversation between subject and experimenter.

                My question here is how any infant could be truly involved in an experiment such as this, whether it be a Classical or an operant conditioning scenario when there has not yet been an establishment of adult language to explain the situation. What I mean here is based on the language equation that governs a person to understand what is being done. This contradicts a normalcy to equate a communication that has been said to be a foundation to a language that humans share. An infant is a clean slate that can be manipulated to respond in any fashion to fulfill a self-fulfilling expectation of an experimenter. So, in my conclusion there could never be any subjective results that can be finalized when there is an environment based on deception pertaining to a language deficit, and please respond and correct me if you see the need to.



Comparative cognition

In reading our textbook I have found many indications and guidance in moving forward with the Psychology of learning course. As we start in the beginning to carve it out as a discipline of learning thru our environment and the need to change it to suit our developmental needs still, I see what nature and its beauty have given us to be respectful as such. Taken from our book “Introduction to learning and Behavior” Chapter 13, page 490, Comparative cognition, is the study of information processing across a variety of species, including humans.” Comparative Cognition as noted in chapter 1 and has become increasingly popular research amongst many behaviorists these days that have included  such topics as memory, categorization, decision making, problem solving, and even complex processes like language use and deception.

                I find this very interesting and helpful as I feel that all of our environment is essential to the process and learning on a holistic approach including all species that we share this planet with. We tend to put ourselves on top of the food chain and possess language and communication skills that at times are a fallacy as a superior belief of Humankind being above all else. If we were to analyze this and compare it to other “Sub” species who are born and have all of the survival skills needed to be genetically fit to live and thrive in an alien environment such as the Alligator Snapping turtle who has more than enough pre-programmed genetic information to lead a full life ranging up to two hundred years of living without needing to be reared by parents such as humans for many years, including being fed, clothed, and looked after and not taking from the environment such as we do.

                In summary, and for unknown reasons, how did Humankind get to this status? For example, what if the dinosaurs had never died out and we had to live side by side with them another few million years what would have been the faith of us then? Would we have been able to change our environment to suite our needs, and how could we have done this with reptiles that were hatched from eggs and needed no other rearing skills to survive in an existence in which we were food to them? Their hunting and survival skills in relation the environment in which they existed was far more superior  than ours and they would have been on top of the food chain. As always, I welcome any rebuttal to this and am always open to criticism in regard to my speculative and rhetorical approach, it’s all in fun and thoughts that we as “Humans” see ourselves as the center of the universe, perhaps one day soon this misconception may be challenged by another life-force? I guess only time will tell.