Classical Conditioning Project - Anxious Mom and Upset Grandma

Classical Conditioning Project - Anxious Mom and Upset Grandma

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  • Why are you one minute behind schedule? The turkey should have been done at 5:15, not 5:16! You should be ashamed!
  • Mom, have a chocolate bar!
  • Thanks! I feel much less anxious now. Grandma was stressing me out.
  • Hmmm, the chocolate seems to make Mom happy. It must be an unconditioned stimulus, as she naturally perks up around chocolate. Wait a minute! The fact that she can't help but feel happy when she eats some chocolate must be her unconditioned response. She has no control over it. There must be a way to apply that to Grandma's incessant yelling.
  • Okay, when I tap the spoon, Mom does not react. Therefore, this must be a neutral stimulus. I wonder what would happen if I tapped the spoon right before giving her chocolate?
  • I knew this would happen. I guess I'm just way too smart. Let me repeat this a few times so Mom can associate the spoon's sound with the happiness chocolate gives her. Then, I'll try it near Grandma.
  • *DING!*
  • Wow, chocolate! I feel so happy and relaxed.
  • *DING!*
  • Perfect! Now I don't need chocolate. The spoon's sound is enough to make her happy. It has finally become the conditioned stimulus and Mom is reacting accordingly, as now her conditioned response is to be happy rather than get anxious. Problem solved!
  • Weird...I feel relaxed. I wonder where all of my anxiety went. I didn't even need chocolate.
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