Operant Condiditioning

Essay by leo851987College, UndergraduateA+, April 2006

download word file, 2 pages 0.0

Downloaded 16 times

My friend, John, has two dogs who he loves very dearly and spends much time playing with. They are both extremely affectionate and smother people with affection. However, their erratic behavior often leads to fighting between the two of them, especially over attention. They also have two different personalities: one is passive and one is very nervous, and sometimes has a problem with uncontrollable urination when excited. On one occasion when I was at my friend's house, I was sitting with the passive dog in my lap, watching television when I saw the other dog approaching. Thinking nothing of it, I remained seated, petting the dog on my lap. The other dog, watching this, suddenly ran towards me and jumped in my lap. Immediately after this I felt a warm sensation spreading on my lap and realized the dog had urinated on me. The feeling of discomfort immediately took hold and I jumped up.

The dog ran around me in circles and I was scared it would urinate again on my feet so I ran from her as fast as I could into another room to tell my friend what had happened and to borrow some extra clothes. Needless to say I am never at ease any more with this particular dog and from now on, any time I am sitting down and I see the dog approaching me, I immediately jump up and try to get away from her.

Maya, the dog who urinated on me, was an unconditioned stimulus prior to her accident that night. However, after she urinated on me, the sight of her became a conditioned stimulus and out of fear of another accident, I jumped up, which became the conditioned response. This process, which depended on conditions which were present in my previous experience, is...