Psychology is a science that studies and helps to understand mental functions and different behaviors of organisms (Pastorino & Doyle-Portillo, 2012). It is a study that helps to understand how organisms react to different situations. Classical conditioning assignment is a procedure that was first studied by Pavlov. He showed how a dog would react to a bell when given food. In the daily experiences, classical conditioning can be examined by taking a scenario where a child colors the walls of the house. The child does not know if it is wrong. If the child is punished every time s/he colors the wall, the behavior can change. If the child repeats this act, the mother spanks the child until the child associates the coloring with pain (Barlow & Durand, 2012).
In the case of the child coloring the walls of the house, the unconditioned stimulus in this scenario would be represented by the beating of the child (Barlow & Durand, 2012).
The unconditioned response in this case would be the child taking time to learn that coloring the house is wrong. The child would continue to undertake the exercise until he or she starts to have coordinated response regarding the coloring and the beating (Barlow & Durand, 2012).
In this scenario, the neutral stimulus is the act of the child’s mother picking up the cane every time the child begins to draw the walls with her crayons, and it would not elicit any response except to focus attention. The neutral stimulus is not associated in any way with the unconditioned stimulus. However, it is intended to be used together to elicit the conditioned response and thus becomes the conditioned stimulus. Consequently, the mother would use the cane when the child draws on the walls. After doing this exercise for several times, the child would learn that the cane means she is about to be beaten thereby causing the conditioned response (Barlow & Durand, 2012).
The cane would be the conditioned stimulus whereby in this learning, it is the stimulus that the subject (the child) is made aware (Barlow & Durand, 2012).
In this scenario, the conditioned response would be the pain and fear elicited by the child as a result of beating that would help them learn that they should not draw on the walls.
In classical conditioning, there is the aspect of stimulus generalization. In this case, the subject responds to one or a group of stimuli that are similar although not identical to the conditioned stimulus. Thus, such a stimulus would be the child’s mother raising her voice every time the child begins to draw on the wall, or even making a clapping sound intended to alert the child to make her stop drawing (Barlow & Durand, 2012). This example can be illustrated as below:
NS (Netural Stimulus) Response
UCS (Unconditioned Stimulus) UCR (Unconditioned Response)
Beating (to stop drawing on the wall) Pain and fear
UCS (Unconditioned Stimulus) UCR (Unconditioned Response)
Beating Fear and pain
Cane Fear: hence no drawing on the wall
Classical conditioning is a theory that has been applied in behavioral science, and it is effective in learning favorable behavior and unfavorable behavior. Unlike in Pavlov’s case, which was an experiment, the theory helps to replace the bad behavior with good behavior using environmental stimulus and natural stimulus. It is one of the remarkable theories of psychology used today.
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