Topical Blog Week #8 (due Thursday)


What I would like you to do is to find a topic from ANYTHING WE HAVE COVERED SO FAR IN CLASS that you are interested in and search the internet for material on that topic. You might, for example, find people who are doing research on the topic, you might find web pages that discuss the topic, you might find youtube clips that demonstrate something related to the topic, etc. What you find and use is pretty much up to you at this point. But use at least 3 sources.

Once you have completed your search and explorations, I would like you to say what your topic is, how exactly it fits into the chapter, and why you are interested in it. Next, I would like you to take the information you found related to your topic, integrate/synthesize it, and then write about it. At the end, please include working URLs for the three websites AND state below each URL how that particular site contributed to what you wrote.

Please let me know if you have any questions.


I have emitted the behavior of choosing discriminate stimulus as the topic I would like to discuss for this topical blog. I chose this term because it often elicits confusion; it always seems to get pushed into a category with operant conditioning. I knew what discriminative stimuli were before starting this blog but I decided to emit the behavior of researching it further so that I can better understand it. Discriminative stimulus is a stimulus associated with reinforcement, and the presence of this stimulus influences the probability of the occurrence of a certain behavior. As the ABC’s states, discriminate stimulus is “any stimulus which set the occasion for an operant response to occur. It tells you what to do”. We are so used to the presence of discriminate stimulus that we do not even notice them or realize they are of some importance. However, it is very important to pay attention to discriminate stimuli because it will lead you to perform reinforcing behavior and lead you away from performing behavior you may be punished for.

The first source I found emits an explanation of two definitions commonly used for discriminate stimulus. The first definition has to do with how the presence of a stimulus will reinforce a particular response. For this definition, they elicit the example of Thorndike and his puzzle-box. In this example, Thorndike has presented the cats will a situational stimuli which predetermines the behavior that needs to be emitted (unlatching the door), in order to be reinforced (escaping the puzzle-box). In order for something to be considered a discriminate stimulus, according to this definition, it must be present before the response occurs. The second definition refers to a stimulus that controls the probability of a response. This definition plays off what the first definition implies. The first definition demonstrates that responses (unlatching the door) are being reinforced (escaping the box) in the presence of the discriminative stimulus (being trapped in a box). Furthermore the second definition goes to assume that the behavior (unlatching the door) will occur more often when the discriminative stimuli (being trapped in a box) is present than when it is absent.

My second source is from an Educating Autism site, which emits tools to help teachers teach. While emitting the behavior of looking at this website I thought of tests and how test questions serve as discriminate stimuli; the right answer to the question is reinforced while the wrong answer is punished. This site uses the example of educational programs, in specific a letter discrimination program where printed cards with different letters on them are placed in from of a student. When the teacher asks the student to point to letter B on it, the teacher is determining which answer will be reinforced; the card with the letter B on it. This site also introduced a new term to me and that was stimulus delta. This term is used to describe the incorrect answer whereas the correct answer is described as the discriminate stimulus.

My last example, which is a YouTube clip, is very closely related to operant conditioning techniques. In the clip, a white rat is being trained to spin either clockwise or counter-clockwise. The discriminate stimulus is the presence of absence of a light. When the light is off the rat will be reinforced with water when it turns around clockwise. The rat seems to have this down pretty well. However, when the light is turned on the rat has harder time remembering to turn counter-clockwise and is not reinforced as often. provides two definitions of discriminate stimuli and an example of how to recognize both of its functions. demonstrates how discriminate stimuli can be used to teach students a video clip demonstrating how you will be reinforced when you follow what the discriminate stimulus is telling you to do

I was really interested in systematic desensitization in which Mary Cover Jones believed could treat phobias as well as fear. First of all, I think phobias in general are pretty interesting to learn about. And by using different techniques of systematic desensitization such as relaxation techniques, visualization, and small steps towards conquering ones fear can take a lot of time but are apparently successful if done correctly. Many people with anxiety disorders use this concept by learning how to control their breathing and their muscles and also use visualization by imaging they are in a peaceful, happy place.
In the first video, it shows a lady who has arachnophobia (fear of spiders) and literally cleans everything, wears a lot of clothing, and tapes the cracks of her bedroom door at night because she is so frightened of spiders. Psychologists came up with a visualization technique that was virtual and although it is taking time, it has helped the lady step out of her box and become more comfortable outdoors. She was even desensitized by holding a live spider.

The second video is over a lady who is scared of clowns known as coulrophobia. Psychologists help her conquer her fear of clowns by showering her clown figures and pictures. Then, they take her into a room with other subjects present and a guy in a clown outfit (a happy clown) comes in and performs. The lady is obviously frightened and begins to have an anxiety attack but after a while, she gets use to the clown and her anxiety decreases.

This last video is really messed up. A girl is afraid of pickles on the Maury show and they take her to a pickle factory to try and desensitize her of pickles and she freaks out. Maury is having a talk to her about pickles and she starts shaking and tells her to stop. This is the case where desensitization clearly doesn't work and even the thought or smell of pickles is scaring the girl so much that it is affecting her life.

I emitted a searching behavior for websites and information on systematic desensitization. Although the person above me also searched on this topic, I was motivated to find out more since I have some phobias. This problem with phobias elicited a curiosity response to see if I could find out more than I already knew. First of all, I emitted a surprised response to find out that you can desensitize yourself. There are many steps, including finding situations which would cause you anxiety. Then, you write them on index cards and number the level of anxiety they cause you. Finally, you practice a relaxation technique and imagine the situation on the card until it no longer causes you anxiety. Doing these should be positively punishing, as it should decrease the level of anxiety by adding the anxiety-provoking thoughts. Next, I emitted a searching behavior for what exactly systematic desensitization is. I found that it is a process that’s used to slowly, over time, decrease phobias of different things. The therapist that’s involved usually teaches the patient progressive relaxation first. Progressive relaxation is a technique in which the patient clenches than relaxes major muscle groups, focusing only on the tightening/relaxing process. The process is essentially the same as what was described in the self-desensitization link. It elicits anxiety and then, after the body can no longer hold the arousal, diminishes the anxiety. After so many times of this, the body ceases to become aroused by the stimulus. It is positive punishment. The second article I emitted a reading behavior on cautioned that only well-trained professionals should carry out systematic desensitization, for fear of the aversive consequences that could result if one is not careful. (Things like extreme panic reactions.) Finally, I wanted to see an example of systematic desensitization. For this I emitted a searching behavior on youtube. This is the video I found: It shows how a woman went through systematic desensitization and was able to successfully overcome arachnophobia, which is the fear of spiders. how to self-desensitize what systematic desensitization is.

I emitted the behavior of picking one of the topics we have went over so far in class and studying it further. The topic I have chosen to research is systematic desensitization. This topic was discussed in the latest section we read that covered Watson and classical conditioning. I picked this topic because I am generally an anxious person and have a lot of phobias. Systematic desensitization helps to get rid of phobias which I think is very interesting. I have learned a lot of ways to calm my anxiety through techniques learned to desensitize me from what I am anxious about.

I first just looked up the term systematic desensitization on the web to find out more information about the topic. I found that Joseph Wolpe developed this technique to help treat anxiety-related disorders and phobias. It is shown to reduce anxiety attacks and panic disorders that are associated with fearful situations. They then began to discuss techniques used with systematic desensitization. Deep breathing is a technique where one slows down their breathing to decrease heart rate that contributes to the aversive behavior of fast heart rates. Visualization is another technique that helps one visualize a peaceful, stress free setting that can help you reach a state of physical and mental relaxation.

This is a video example of systematic desensitization. This video shows a horse named starlight that is afraid of balloons. They would reward Starlight every time starlight would look at, touch, or allow the researchers to rub the balloon on her. Because of this, every time starlight interacted with the balloon, she expected a reward. They then added more balloons to the experiment. Eventually, the reward was removed and starlight was no longer scared of balloons.

This last video is of a girl who has a phobia of cotton and also afraid of plastic foam that comes in packed boxes. She begins to have panic attacks when she thinks about touching it or being around it. She can’t stand the sound and texture of packing peanuts. It has gotten so bad that she cannot open her own mail. They try to surround her with cotton to make her unafraid of cotton.


For my blog, I decided to emit the behavior of writing about trial and error learning. I found this topic to be interesting because often times people think that the only way to learn is to learn things correctly the first time, however they forget that we also learn from our mistakes. Trial and error learning can be located in section 3.1.

The first article I found was from the Los Angeles Times and was about how the elderly can learn better through trial and error. Research shows that when people make a mistake, like in trial and error learning, the brain has to make connections to get the information correctly, so it is more "taxing." This article then describes that all participants in a study comparing errorless and trial and error
learning benefited more from trial and error learning.

Another article also demonstrated that trial and error learning is the most effective way of learning for older adults. A study was conducted where participants were supposed to think of a certain word after being given a cue. Participants in the errorless learning part of this study were given the word on the first try. Participants in the trial and error learning part were given two guesses before being given the correct word. The participants who were using a trial and error method remembered 2.5 times more than those who were learning without error.

Trial and error can also be used to learn certain tasks according to the author of "The Effective Learning Method of Trial and Error." He states that in order to learn many tasks, you have to make mistakes along the way and see them as valuable in your journey to accomplishing the task at hand. He also realizes that it is very difficult to stay motivated during the trial and error process because it can be quite lengthy, so he gives different motivation techniques to keep you focused and committed.

Links to Articles:

The concept I am interested in and decided to research more is structuralism. It was lightly touched on in the last section we emitted the behavior of reading. I wanted to find out more about it because I didn’t fully understand it from the reading and I figured we will probably still be using this concept as our readings continue.

In my information that I found by Adnan Al-Sharrah said that structuralists believe that things cannot be understood in isolation. So everything is connected to each other and when one behavior occurs another behavior will happen as a consequence of it. He also says that structuralists use analysis and synthesis. They analyze what humans do and then try to see how those actions and behaviors fit together. I find this very interesting because I do believe every behavior is linked to each other.

In the Psychology World article by Richard Hall he talks about limitations of structuralism. He says that this concept is dead and basically fell when William Wundt did. He said it is hard to use because psychology today uses a lot of data it is hard to back things up with just theories. I don’t totally agree with this because even though we like to have data, I believe psychologists love to research and theories are the best things to continue research on. Wundt first came up with structuralism and he studied perception. A little video on youtube filled me in on what he has done in psychology. He did studies to see how people reacted to loud noises and the dropping of a big rubber ball. Then came up with the idea of structuralism. After he discover this other theories piggybacked off of this, such as functionalism.

After reading and listening to all this information I have come to my own conclusion that structuralism is not dead and it is very important to psychology. I am glad Wundt came up with it so other theories could be developed. I use structuralism every day by all my different reactions to different behaviors. It is kind of like our ABC's, it is a large circle of behaviors that keep happening.

I have emitted a behavior of finding the concept of schedules of reinforcement, discussed in section 2.5, interesting. I think this is an interesting concept because like other concepts in the study of behavior modification, it is used in everyday life, and therefore easily relatable.

I emitted a behavior of going to a casino recently, and witnessed the application of intermittent schedules of reinforcement throughout the establishment. The first source I emitted a behavior of finding relates to this personal experience. This article discusses how intermittent reinforcement functions, and how casinos use this concept to make huge profits while keeping people coming back to the casino, despite the slim odds of winning money. It stated that intermittent reinforcement is when rewards, reinforcement, and rules are handed out, or enforced occasionally and inconsistently. This encourages people to continue emitting the same behavior to obtain the desired reinforcer. In a casino people emit the same behavior of putting money into slot machines, trying to obtain the desired reinforcer of receiving more money from the machine. Because slot machines do not pay out every time an individual emits a behavior of putting money into the machine, but does occasionally, people continue to emit a behavior of inserting money in hopes of obtaining the desired reinforcer of money. According to the article, slot machines account for 70% of a casino’s earnings, this clearly shows that the casino is effectively utilizing the concept of intermittent schedules of reinforcement.

The second source I emitted a behavior of finding was an article discussing the most effective methods to obtain desired behaviors from employees. It stated that continuous reinforcement is beneficial when trying to establish new desired behaviors among employees, but an intermittent schedule of reinforcement is better suited for organizational settings. It is not practical for an employer to emit a behavior of reinforcing an employee every time he or she emits a desired behavior, but it is possible to reinforce employees occasionally. The article stated that many companies incorporate a behavior modification program, sometimes referred to as behavioral contingency management, into their employee relations policies. Despite criticisms of reinforcement theory, the principles continue to offer insight into individual learning and motivation, and many corporations emit a behavior of utilizing the theory.

The third source I emitted a behavior of finding was an article designed to teach individuals how to train a dog. It listed background information and history of the study of behavior modification and reinforcement theory, as well. One portion of the article emitted a behavior of discussing the four types of intermittent reinforcement. The four types are: fixed interval, fixed ratio, variable interval, and variable ratio. The article emitted a behavior of stating that fixed interval schedules of reinforcement occur when desired behaviors are reinforced after set periods of time. The example used was a weekly paycheck. The individual knows that he or she is reinforced once a week for emitting a desired working behavior. The article stated that this type is not the most effective way to elicit desired behavior from others. Behaviors learned through this method are more likely to be rapidly extinguished.

The fixed ratio schedule of reinforcement occurs when an organism is reinforced for emitting a desired behavior a set amount of times. The example used was a sales commission based upon a set number of units sold. Emitting a behavior of utilizing this schedule of reinforcement may not be very effective, because the results may not be long-lasting.

The variable interval reinforcement schedule occurs when an organism emits a behavior of reinforcing another organism after varying amounts of time. The author emitted a behavior of using the example of an employer giving special recognition to an employee, or promoting an employee to a higher position. This method appears to elicit desired behavioral change that is unlikely to be extinguished.

The variable ratio schedule occurs when an organism reinforces another organism after a varying number of desired behaviors being emitted. Due to the changing number of times the organism must emit the desired behavior, the organism emits the behavior more frequently in hopes of obtaining the desired reinforcement. An example of this schedule of reinforcement goes back to my first example of the slot machine in a casino. Emitting a behavior of utilizing a variable ratio schedule is also effective in getting another organism to emit desired behaviors consistently, and is resistant to extinction. --this site was used to emit a behavior of discussing how casinos use intermittent schedules of reinforcement to make huge profits, while still keeping individuals coming back to lose more money --this site was used to emit a behavior of discussing how intermittent schedules of reinforcement are more practical than continuous schedules in an organizational setting --this site was used to emit a behavior of discussing the four types of intermittent schedules of reinforcement

The chapter that I have recently been very interested in was the chapter on Pavlov (section 3.2). I’m interested in this topic because I find it interesting that he did this experiment that has affected so many lives. From the first article I read, it was saying how this experiment has impacted today. It is said his experiment “remains one of the most important in psychology's history”. This is still used to treat phobias and disorders. One big example that is still used today is when experimenters practiced the “use of taste aversion to prevent coyotes from preying on domestic livestock”. Also, more than 220 articles in research journals have cited Pavlov’s work.

The YouTube video I watched showed actual footage from the experiment and how Pavlov was initially interested in studying dog’s salivary glands. Over repeated testing’s the dogs salivated with only the sight of the food. This is a built in reflex that Pavlov decided to study. Pavlov used a metronome as a stimulus for the salivation. This is all called classical conditioning. This video basically just visually showed the experiment that Pavlov did. It was a great way to show how the experiment came about.

The second YouTube video I watched was a real world example of Classical Conditioning. The lady talked about how when she was in college there was an ice storm during finals week. The ice would freeze on the trees and then break off and fall. So therefore, when she heard a “crackle” sound, she would duck. The ice frozen would be the unconditioned stimulus. The ice breaking off would be an unconditioned response. The conditioned stimulus would be the crackling sound. And the conditioned response would be the reaction of ducking. This fit in with the chapter because it described what the contributions of Pavlov has done this was a good way to show the experiment. It explained the chapter basically in a video. : This was a good way to explain a real life example that people could relate to (of classical conditioning.

I emitted the behavior of researching on the topic of target behaviors. Target behaviors are a big part of behavior modification. Without establishing target behaviors, it would be impossible to modify behavior. I am interested in target behaviors because they are so important to the overall concept of behavior modification. Target behaviors were introduced in the first few chapters of the text. It is imperative to get a clear understanding what target behaviors are so that you know whether to use positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, positive punishment or negative punishment to either increase or decrease the specific target behavior. For example, if I want to increase the amount of times I exercise in a week, then the exercising behavior is my target behavior. It is important to understand that target behaviors can also be decreased. For example, If I want to quit biting my nails, the behavior of biting my nails is the target behavior and it should be decreased.

I emitted the behavior of searching for research articles about target behaviors. As I suspected, there were several hits. This then elicited me to read through a couple of the articles. I chose to read an article that used behavioral interventions to help children manage their type 1 diabetes. The researchers had six participants and their ages ranged from 8 to 12 years old. Specific target behaviors were established for each individual. According to Lasecki et al. (2008) “Principles of positive reinforcement, performance feedback, and randomized contingencies to initiate and, more importantly, to maintain compliance and anticipatory motivation”. What the researchers found is that all participants improved both in managing their diabetes as well as improving overall mental health. Depending on the different types of reinforcement and feedback, some participants did better than others. This research is very interesting because it proves that behavior modification can be applied to all aspects of behavior. Most people assume it is used to calm down rowdy children in the classroom, but as this article proves, it can help young children who are faced with chronic diseases at improving mental health.

An example of using positive reinforcement to attain a target behavior is clicker training. Many people who have pets want to teach their animals tricks. As you can see in this YouTube video, the cat is verbally prompted, once it emits the target behavior they get a click which is also paired with a treat. Treats don’t always have to be given. I have watched several clips where some cats/dogs are reinforced just by being pet. With clicker training it is advisable that you be very patient at first because your pet may not be interested at first. After conditioning starts, the cat will perceive the click as reinforcing. Clicker training can also be used on humans. It shows that target behaviors can be reached even If they seem difficult!

While emitting the behavior of surfing the web, I came across the Autism Classroom website. I then dug deeper into the website and found a page specifically dedicated to talking about target behaviors and their importance. The very first this mentioned on this website is that many times teachers and parents establish target behaviors but they are too vague. As we discussed in class, and as this website states, it is crucial for target behaviors to be very specific. The more specific the better! This website helps by giving examples of poor target behaviors and then gives the same example in a more specific way. Hopefully after reading these examples, people are elicited to actually make specific target behaviors.


This research article explained how target behaviors can be used to help children manage their health


This video is about clicker training. Clicker training is used to elicit a target behavior.


This website gives information about how important it is to establish specific but attainable target behaviors. This website pertains to individuals who have autism disorder.

The topic that has elicitated a lot of interest to me was systematic desensitization. I was very interested in learning about Mary Cover Jones and wanted to learn more about how systematic desensitization works, different strategies and if it has long term effects.
The first site on systematic desensitization was about desensitizing yourself, which I never even thought of, I had always assumed that you would need a therapist or some type of professtionalist. I personally found this hard to believe that it actually works, but maybe in moderate cases. It did teach you many techniques that are usually used in systematic desensitization such as relaxation and visualization, so perhaps if you took if very seriously it could have potential in helping.

The next website I looked at I learned how treatments of systematic desensitazation worked. The first main step is to learn how to relax and once that is accomplished then slowly introducing the fear or phobia while practicing the relaxation strategy when you begin to feel the anxiety. This process seems very long, first by starting with a picture and then to having it in the room and slowly getting closer to the fear or phobia until the patient is able to remain relaxed when faced with the phobia or fear. It also states that this is an effective form of treatment and that most of the people who go through this show symptom reduction.

I found an article that also supported this being an effective form of treatment. This study showed that during a follow up after two years the patients were still doing well and showing additional improvement with no evidence of relapse or symptom subsitution. This gives support that systematic desensitization is effective and that it has long term effects.

I found a youtube video of a horse getting systematic desensitization where the owners were teachign the horse to not be afraid of baloons and they followed the steps of slowly introducing the baloon to her and as they did the horse was positively reinforced with treats. I found it interesting how it showed all the steps of systematic desensitization and how it worked. -This is the website that teaches you how to use systematic desensitization on yourself. -This website talked abotu the strategies and techniques of systematic desensitization. -This is an article that showed success rates after two years. -This is the video of the horse getting desensizised to baloons.

After emitting a reading behavior for section 3.4, about Watson, I thought it would be interesting to emit a searching behavior for more information about him for this assignment. I think Watson is one of the most interesting psychologists. The first article that elicited a reading behavior from me was about behaviorism in general, which relates to this section since Watson was considered "The Father of Behaviorism". I think it is interesting how Watson was not concerned with mental processes at all. In fact, he didn't think there were mental process or internal states; Watson believed that psychology should only be concerned with what we can observe and psychological experiments should be done according to this model.
-more on John Watson and behaviorism

I also emitted a reading behavior about a classical conditioning experiment. This article is related to this section because just like John Watson conditioned Little Albert to be afraid of white furry objects, the authors of this article argue that people are conditioned to like certain food. In this article the authors suggest that we are conditioned to find unnatural-looking food, such as elaborate, plastic-looking wedding cakes and odd shaped, basically odorless candy, highly enticing. They argue that the sight of these objects is basically a conditioned stimulus and us craving them is a conditioned response; without being taught that these objects taste good we would not naturally emit this type of response.
-classical conditioning

Finally I emitted a reading behavior about desensitization. I think this is related to section 3.4 because although Watson never had the chance to desensitize little Albert, we know that it is would have been possible to reverse the effects of the initial experiment, making it so little Albert would no longer emit a frightened behavior towards white furry objects, or he could at the very least make progress toward not being as afraid of them. In this article it states that desensitization can be used as a form of treatment for people with obsessive compulsive disorder. The consequence of desensitization, which involves gradually being exposed to anxiety-provoking stimuli, for these people is hopefully an increase in their ability to face these kinds of stimuli or situations in the future.

Emitting a reading behavior resulted in the consequence of being interested in John B. Watson as discussed in section 3.4. Watson elicited interest in me because his life and even some of his experiments were full of scandal. I think it is interesting that such a prominent figure in psychology was involved in sometimes off color situations.

The first source that I looked at was about Watson’s life. Watson was born in South Carolina in 1878 and his father left his family when Watson ass only 13.It was said that Watson was a poor and unmanageable student but was somewhat full of himself. He continued on in school, thought, and received his PhD in psychology around age 25. Watson studied biology, physiology, animal behavior, and children. He was inspired by Ivan Pavlov’s work and disagreed strongly with Freud’s views. He also served in World War I as a psychologist which interfered with his research on animal and children. After forcefully resigning from John Hopkins, Watson became the vice president of the J. Walter Thompson advertising company in 1924.

The second source I looked at was about Watson’s life but included the more colorful aspects of his divorce and remarriage as well as his views on the institution of marriage in general. As a professor at John Hopkins University, Watson fell in love with one of his research assistants, Rosalie Rayner. It was shortly after the Little Albert study that Watson’s wife, Mary, went to the Rayners’ home on a “social visit.” Mary faked a headache and went to Rosalie’s room where she found love letters written by Watson to Rosalie. The letters found their way to the president of John Hopkins University as well as the newspapers. Watson and Mary were divorced and married Rosalie a week after his divorce was final on New Year’s Day in 1921. Later Watson was quoted saying, “Monogamy is passing I believe. The social mechanism has slipped its trolley. We are unfettered and unshackled and are romping and frolicking in our freedom.” (

The final source that elicited a reading behavior from me was about Watson’s death. In 1935, Rosalie died suddenly at age 35 which led to a great deal of despair for Watson. After Rosalie’s death, their son William committed suicide. In a fit of rage, Watson burned all of his unpublished works in 1958 and then died on September 25, 1958 at the age of 80 years old. More about Watson’s life Watson’s love life Watson’s death

After emitting a reading behavior of the sections so far, I chose the topic of John Watson’s experiment of The Little Albert study. As I was exploring the internet for more information on the study I became more and more against the study and it raised many ethical questions in my mind. I was very intrigued with the study from the chapter and that is why I wanted to explore more information on the subject and learn the pro and cons of Watson’s research. John Watson believed that at a young age environmental objects and surroundings effect behavior. The Little Albert study fits into the section 3.4 that discusses the experiment briefly. Also, the study portrays many of the behavioral concepts that are provided in all of the sections so far.

The first website that I found information on the Little Albert study provided and discussed step by step detail of what the study was about and concluded. I really thought this website was very interesting because in the 3.4 section it did not describe the experiment in full detail, and the website provided a better understanding of the experiment. The website stated the history of Little Albert before the study, which I found to be very interesting because baby Albert was raised in a hospital environment because his mother was a wet nurse. This particular website had a very positive feedback on the study, and concluded that The Little Albert study has influenced psychology and still inspires in modern times.

After I read the above website reference article, I found a YouTube video that showed the Little Albert experiment with the variety of different objects used to stimulate the emotional response of the baby. I thought the video showed a great visual on how the experiment was conducted, but also lacked the ethical questions that many people had after the study was released. This video related to the video that was shown in section 3.4.

Lastly, I found this news article in the John Hopkins University website that showed the “unethical” side of the study. The article showed the “unethical” side of the study by describing when the researchers would strike a hammer on a steel bar, causing Little Albert to cry. I found that the emotional response of making a baby cry made me cringe, I felt that it would be hard to watch or even do that to someone else’s child. The article also states all of the awards and ceremonies that Watson attended in New York. I particularly liked reading what happened after the study was released and how people appraised him for his knowledge and hard work. The article shows a different approach to the Watson study of Little Albert that was not addressed in section 3.4.

I decided to emit a researching behavior and look more into the background and ideas of John Watson. John Watson was a very influential character in Psychology’s history and made great contributions. I found him to be very interesting and intelligent. It’s very commonly known that John Watson was a behaviorist and contributed the Little Albert study to psychology. This study was very controversial in the aspect that it changed the behavior of the little boy and very well could have scarred him for life. As we all know, this was a study where a baby was introduced to a white rat. However, the white rat was always paired with a loud, scary noise so that eventually, Albert began to associate the white rate and other furry creatures with this loud, scary noise. While this was a very unethical and controversial study, Watson set the stage for behaviorism which took over Psychology until around 1950. Even though it faded, terms that Watson invented and used are still in practice today.
(Background information about Watson)

Watson studied other behaviors of babies as well. He believe that people were shaped solely by their environments. Like John Locke, Watson believed in tabula rasa, or that humans were a blank slate waiting to be influenced by their environments. Continuing on about the Little Albert study, the video clip below shows the study and actually shows Little Albert getting upset over the objects being placed in front of him. It just goes to show how unethical this little experiment was. The poor baby was defenseless and had no choice about whether he wanted to do this experiment or not (which clearly he didn’t). Furry objects kept being place in front of him and he became more and more fearful and upset. This response was conditioned by Watson, and was never unconditioned. That means this fear could have stayed with Little Albert throughout the rest of his life, all because he was part of an experiment. However, Watson did prove a point by this experiment and concluded that indeed, fears can be purely learned.\
(Video of the Little Albert Study)

Going beyond just the Little Albert study, Watson was convinced that manipulating the environment and taking part in controlled laboratory studies was the best way to study behavior. Watson wrote many articles about behaviorism and psychology and won many awards for this as well. In these articles he stated that Psychology failed at becoming a natural science, and should instead be more like scientific studies of observable behavior. Watson also wrote a book called Psychological Care of the Infant and Child in 1928 which talked about a quite detached style of parenting. In this book, Watson describes a happy child as a child who doesn’t cry unless they are “actually struck by a pin, who loses himself in work and play, who quickly learns to overcome small difficulties in his environment without running to mother, father, nurse or other adult….” I found this to be a rather cold description of a happy child, although it would be a good thing to not be overcome by small difficulties and strong in work and play. I found this to lack emotion, however, and children should be allowed to have emotion in their work, play, and everyday lives. I think that Watson based a child’s happiness and behavior on productivity and lack of emotion, which is not best by any means. But as you can see, even though Watson took a rather cold approach to studying children and raising them as well, he did make large contributions to psychology and behaviorism that are very much still used today.
(Broad information about Watson)
(Information about Psychological Care of Infant and Child)

Classical conditioning is when an unconditioned response to an unconditioned stimulus is paired with a conditioned stimulus to create a conditioned response. For instance, Ivan Pavlov showed a dog a bowl of meat and the dog began to salivate. After that he rang a bell every time meat would be presented to the dog. Pretty soon, when the dog would hear the bell, it would start to salivate. The salivation became a conditioned response to the conditioned stimulus (the bell). When I went to look up classical conditioning on the internet, I found some things I’ve never thought about and some things I didn’t think would happen yet.
First off, has anyone ever thought about controlling insects? I know I haven’t. To me it sounds like something some diabolical villain would do in the movies, but apparently it can actually happen. On, I found a journal article that is about an experiment done in Japan that resulted in getting cockroaches to salivate to a conditioned stimulus. Cockroaches salivate to sucrose but not to odors such as peppermint or vanilla. Experiments were done where the cockroach would smell certain odors and be presented with sucrose and it would salivate. After this was done many times, it would salivate to the odor alone. Hidehiro Watanabe and Makoto Mizunami, the people who ran the experiment, found that the conditioned response only stayed for one day, but still I think that it was pretty cool reading about this.
Another article I found about classical conditioning was actually about how higher-ups in the United States kept the masses under control after 9/11. In order to keep people calm, the terror alert system was created. This would elevate when a terrorist plot was on the rise and when it was foiled it was lowered. Because we all generalize terrorism to the 9/11 attack, when we hear what the current terrorist plot is and how it’s been thwarted, we are a lot calmer about terrorism which causes fewer outbursts of distress in the masses. I thought this was interesting because we were controlled every day and we didn’t even realize it.
Speaking of being controlled every day, I actually found an article on about how companies who make things like licorice and lollipops (and actually any company whose foods look like plastic or something) are indebted to the fact that they look attractive because of classical conditioning. If someone never ate these things, they probably wouldn’t be found appetizing to anyone. But now we see bright colors and where it’s placed in the stores and we think “Gee that looks delicious.”
To end this, I wanted to add a video depicting classical conditioning. This video is from one of my favorite shows “The Office.” Jim runs an experiment where every time he shuts down his computer he gives Dwight an “Altoid.” After many times he shuts down his computer and doesn’t give Dwight an “Altoid” and well, you’ll see.
Twizzlers and lollipop example
Cockroach experiment
Terrorism and classical conditioning
Fun video on Classical Conditioning brought to you by “The Office”

Superstitious behaviors recur after a behavior was emitted and some sort of reinforcement happens for that behavior. This is apparent in both humans and animals. For example, a superstitious behavior I emitted in high school was to always wear the same pair of socks (washed, of course) for each volleyball game that we had. This to me was the reason I played so well or had a good game that night, when in reality I had worked hard every day in practice and was a talented volleyball player. B.F. Skinner demonstrated this in pigeons. He put pigeons in a contraption that would dispense food at random. The example in a video used emitting the behavior of looking over its left shoulder. If a pigeon happened to look over its left shoulder right before the food was dispensed, it believed that this behavior was being positively reinforced. The pigeon would keep emitting this superstitious behavior because it believed that each time it was emitted, it would elicit a pleasurable outcome, food.

"We are often in situations in life where something really important is about to happen, we've prepared for it as best we can, but it's still uncertain; it's still unclear," Vyse says, "Superstitions provide people with the sense that they've done one more thing to try to ensure the outcome they are looking for." A superstition can give a person a sense of security as well which can lead to the self-fulfilling prophecy; if a person emits the superstitious behavior which they believe will elicit a good outcome, it is likely that they will perform better themselves, allowing for the pleasurable outcome, the reinforcement. This can at times have an aversive effect as well. In the example above, I wore a certain pair of socks, which was my superstition. What would have happened if I were to have lost a sock in the dryer? I could have thought that my “luck” was gone and that I would perform poorly, because I emitted such thought processes, it is likely that this would have affected my behavior, eliciting an aversive outcome.

A person does not have to be considered unintelligent if they were to believe in such superstition, it can affect any person. University of Northern Iowa and its students have its own superstition. If a kissing behavior is not emitted at midnight under the campanile at midnight, the elicited response is that a brick will fall on your head later on upon your return as an alumnus. Many students emit such a behavior, whether it is because it is a fun tradition or that they truly succumb to the superstition of a brick falling on their head is up for debate.

There are many superstitions that I and many others are aware of; such as the groom not being able to see the bride in her dress before the wedding because it is bad luck, or breaking a mirror will bring you seven years of bad luck. But after further researching the topic of superstitions, I found that many people elicit odd behaviors due to such superstition. The oddest ones I found while emitting the researching behavior was that fingernail cuttings should be saved, burned, or buried. I unfortunately always throw mine away, so according to this superstition, emitting such a behavior will bring me bad luck. Another strange superstition that I found was that dropping an umbrella on the floor means that there will be a murder in the house. This is the behavior I often emit after a rainy day; luckily I have not experienced any murders in the homes I have done this in.
I used this site to learn more about the many superstitions that people may believe in that I had never heard of before.
I used this site to learn more about why people believe in superstitions and how it can affect a person’s life.
This is a video demonstrating a pigeon’s superstitious behavior.

The thing that interested me the most in recent weeks was behaviorism and just remembering all the historical significance that it had. I took History and Systems with Otto last semester and this was one of the things we covered. However, I couldn’t remember much as to how it all came to an end. I mean, in America behaviorism was the leading perspective in psychological science for a long time. Therefore, I decided to take a look at just how Watson’s behavioral empire came to a halt and why it isn’t as strongly held as it initially was.
After doing a bit of research many sources kept pointing to Naom Chomsky as the murder of behaviorism. Naom was a linguist but he still held a lot of sway over the area of psychology because language and everything involving it is considered to be a part of cognitive psychology. After several years of research and personal experience Chomsky had found several critical problems to the kind of strict behavioral approach that Watson and others held. Being he was a linguist he had been studying how we acquire language. Through this process he deemed that behaviorism cannot account for how individuals, especially children, pick up a language. There are simply too many innate, untaught aspects of language for it to have been learned. Then try as he may, B.F. Skinner, another popular behavoriist, could not rationally explain through behavioral terms how individuals acquired language. His attempt went something like this. We acquire language through an approach that is very similar to social learning theory; we see others do language and then we naturally pick it up as we go. However, Chomsky was able to prove that there is indeed something innate about language and that not all of it is learned. Remember, that Watson and Skinner believed that we come into the world as blank slates and that they could mold us into whatever they desire. For example, no matter what the language a child is born into they can adapt to that culture. This was further tested by examining adopted children from various places around the world. In the end Noam Chomsky was able to prove that too strict of a behavioral view limits us in our ability to comprehend and understand much of human behavior. Watson had a good run, but as with all good things, they must come to an end. I also found a goofy video clip of some twins chatting it up. It is funny to think that such a simple behavior, especially in various twin studies, was able to knock Watson off the top of psychological theory.

This week, I have chosen to emit a behavior of researching more on the topic of classical conditioning. The fact that we can “manipulate” and predict others reactions based on this concept is extremely interesting to me. Pavlov was originally studying digestive processes and the action of the salivary glands. Pavlov discovered that the dog was actually salivating before coming into contact with the food. Metronomes, lights, and bells were all used to signal to the dog that food was on the way. These original stimuli elicited automatic responses from the dogs to salivate. Eventually, a conditioned stimulus (such as footsteps or a bell) would elicit the dog to salivate (the unconditioned response).

The first source I found is a short funny clip on YouTube from the sitcom Two and a Half Men. Charlie and Alan are both at a bar named Pavlov’s. Every time the bell is rung the men are supposed to bark and then take a shot. This is Alan’s first time at this bar and he is startled and confused by everyone’s actions. Charlie explains that when the bell is rung that is just what you have to do. When asked why, Charlie did not have an answer; he just knew to do it. By the end of the clip the bell is rung again and Alan automatically barks and drinks. This is just a funny example of classical conditioning.

The next source I found was an online article titled Introduction to Classical Conditioning by Kendra Cherry. She gave a nice explanation of classical conditioning and really emphasized the fact that classical conditioning involves placing a neutral signal before a naturally occurring reflex. Cherry went into detail further about each component of the process as well such as conditioned stimulus, unconditioned stimulus, conditioned response, and unconditioned response. Cherry went on to explain that in the real world people do not respond exactly as the dogs did for Pavlov. She did mention however, that for example many dog trainers use classical conditioning techniques to help train their pets. She also mentioned that these techniques are useful in the treatment of phobias or anxiety problems. For example, she mentioned that teachers are able to apply classical conditioning in the class by creating a positive classroom environment to help students overcome anxiety or fear.

I felt that I had fully understood the process of classical conditioning so instead of researching more articles, etc. I chose to look up some real life experiments people have completed demonstrating classical conditioning. In this last video I chose, there is a young girl as the subject being tested. Her older sister is trying to condition her to laugh every time she says the word “gorilla”. The sister will walk up behind the little girl, say gorilla, and then proceed to tickle the girl. This produces a laughing response. Eventually, just the word gorilla is enough to make the little girl start to laugh. The neutral stimulus in this experiment was the word gorilla. The unconditioned stimulus was the action of tickling. The unconditioned response was laughter and squirming from the little girl. Eventually the conditioned response was laughter. This was just another fun example of how people demonstrate classical conditioning. -YouTube video demonstrating classical conditioning from the show Two and a Half Men. - Online article talking in depth about classical conditioning, its components, and a couple real-world examples. -YouTube video of a student demonstrating classical conditioning techniques on her younger sister.

The topic that I chose was systematic desensitization. After emitting a reading behavior for the last section, I was very interested in this topic. This topic was covered when we went emitting a behavior of reading about Watson and his studies. I personally have some weird/crazy fears, as well as a lot of people I know, so I think that is why I am possibly interested in this topic. Also, after emitting a searching behavior of this topic, I found more interesting things, as well as some crazy phobias. I think that systematic desensitization is interesting because it is supposed to help you get over phobias. It is a pretty cool concept.

After emitting searching behaviors there were many interesting articles and videos that I found that dealt with phobias and systematic desensitization. The first one is a video off the show Maury. This shows a woman who is extremely terrified of birds. She emits a screaming and frantic behavior if she even HEARS a bird. Also, she is so terrified that she even left her children in the car (NOT parked) because there was a bird near. So, Maury thought it would be a good idea to bring birds out on the show. I’m not sure if this is exactly the best way to use systematic desensitization because they really did not prepare the women for this experience. According to the section of the book we read, you are supposed to emit certain behaviors before actually exposing yourself to the full on fear. But considering birds are literally everywhere, she would never know when one it going to fly by, or even chirp. After Maury brought the birds out the lady started emitting a frantic behavior and emitting a running behavior.

The next clip I found was a therapy session that uses systematic desensitization. The lady who is the “therapist” really is a social work student who is supposed to attempt to use systematic desensitization with people with phobias, to practice how she may use this in the real world. I thought this was interesting because it kind of shows how you would start of the process of systematic desensitization before actually exposing the individual with the phobia they have. The client in this video is scared of spiders, and it gets in the way of his everyday life, which it not a good thing. He feels that he can’t even leave the house, or go camping with his friends, because he is so terrified of spiders. I guess talking about the fear and using certain techniques can help start the process.

The next link I used it just an article pretty much explaining what s systematic desensitization is, how it works, ways to reduce fears, and then an example of steps that are apart of systematic desensitization. First it starts out explaining the background, and it uses Pavlov as an example. Then the article moves on the find out if what a patient has is an obsession or a phobia, because they are very two different things. The article then goes on to explain how you can administer systematic desensitization on your own. The first step used is relaxation. With this the person needs to be in a very relaxed state of mind, with no anxiety. The next step is then to create a anxiety hierarchy. With this, the article used an example of fear of flying, so the individual needs to think of situations where this might take place, and when. It says that one good tip is to really imagine these images in FULL detail, even if it scares you or gives your anxiety. The next step is to them put your relaxation tips with the situation. This then has steps that go along with it stating how to use each situation with the relaxation style. I thought that this article was very interesting because I think it can really help people overcome SOME phobias. Of course not right off the bat, but I think the tips can definitely be used to help the anxiety people are feeling, but I don’t think it can totally remove the fear. an example of a lady that has a phobia of birds, so they decide to bring out a couple birds on the show, to possibly desensitize her. an example of a man who is terrified of spiders. It is an example of how a systematic desensitization therapy session would really work. This article is pretty much an overview of what systematic desensitization is, ways to treat it, and then it gives an example of a phobia, and specific ways to use systematic desensitization.

The topic I have chosen to explore is extinction. I am interested in this topic because I think the process of how extinction works is interesting and I like looking at the different ways it can occur.
The first example I found about extinction is just a simple website that discusses the definitions of extinction and how it would apply to operant and classical conditioning. The definition went as follows: "In psychology, extinction refers to the gradual weakening of a conditioned response that results in the behavior decreasing or disappearing." The example of extinction in classical conditioning had to do with pairing the smell of food with the sound of a whistle and getting the response of hunger from that. It then said that if you separate the food from the whistle, the hunger would eventually disappear. The example for operant conditioning said that if you give students candy for a good behavior, they will eventually get tired of the candy and discontinue the good behavior,
The second example I found is a little different because I decided to go with an example where extinction of a behavior was very necessary but never occurred. I found a website that discussed the Little Albert study where they paired animals with loud noises. After doing this, Little Albert was clearly scared of the animals that were paired with the loud noises. It was stated that Little Albert left the hospital before they could extinguish his fear of the animals. In this case, extinguishing the fear of these fury animals was very important for the testing and for Little Albert himself, but they never got the chance to do so. I have a feeling this negatively affected Albert in the future.
The final example I found was in a sparknotes summary of some book, and along with giving a good description of extinction, it gave really good descriptions of many of the different terms we have been learning throughout the semester so far. The part about extinction it gives the typical definition of what extinction is. It then goes on to give a good example that is in this particular book that is used for many of the different terms and says how extinction applies to it. This book seems very informative on behavior.
This website did a really good job of defining what extinction was and showing how it applies to classical and operant conditioning.
This website was a very good example of when extinction was a necessity, and did not happen.
This website also did a very good job of defining extinction and applying it to the specific book it was summarizing. It also did a great job of defining many of the different terms we have been learning.

I emitted the behavior of doing research on systematic desensitization. This interests me because I have always elicited the behavior of curiosity when it comes to helping people with certain fears and phobias get through life and possibly forget about these fears. This topic fits into the chapter because it has to do with behavior and altering certain behaviors.

Mary Cover Jones conducted a study on a three year old named Peter who was upset easily. She decided to do this research and experiment because she noticed how Watson failed to desensitize Little Albert one his experiment ended. Desensitization is reversing a behavior through conditioning. In the case of Little Albert, he would have been conditioned to not fear various objects when they are paired with a loud noise. Peter's fears were not conditioned experimentally, but naturally. When trying to discover if his fears could be removed, she theorized that people were never afraid when they are eating. Jones would present Peter with food (uncontrolled stimulus)and have Peter eat while he was given an animal (conditioned stimulus) that produced fear (unconditioned response).Jones concluded that because Peter was presented with a scary rabbit while he was given food, Peter was not upset. Later on systematic desensitization was used to treat phobias.

Certain systematic desensitization methods used today help people conquer their fears that typically alter their every day lives. Some people make a relaxation tape to listen to that will take you through a series of breathing techniques. Another method is desensitization sessions. In these sessions one may be taken through visualization steps. These will help the person visualize conquering their fear. Other techniques may include hypnotism.

The first clip that I found is of a man who has an extreme fear of spiders. His main concern is that a spider may go up into his body through his arm. In this clip, he decided to try and conquer his fear of spiders by putting a spider on his body and letting it crawl on him. This man is emitting the behavior of helping himself overcome the fear of spiders. This seems more difficult for some to do alone.

The second clip that I found is of a woman who has a fear of mustard. The sight of mustard makes her scream and cry. She was conditioned to fear mustard when she was squirt in the eyes by co-workers. I personally watched this episode of Maury and this girl was offered help with a therapist to try and reverse her fear of mustard.

The second clip that I have found is of a woman who has a phobia of bridges. She can not drive across alone, and has to cover her eyes while having someone else drive. The lady in the video talks about how these fears need to be conquered through visualization of overcoming the phobia.

This fourth video is about desensitization steps and background information on overcoming phobias.

After I emit a reading behavior of this chapter and know what I have to do in this work, I chose do some research about systematic desensitization. This topic it is related with the chapter 3, section 3.4 and is a method used today in the treatment of phobias. I emitted a behavior of curiosity, because I think is interest to work with relaxation therapies and see what areas it can help.

When I was emitting a research behavior, I found a web page that explains very well the stages of this treatment. The first step is learning how to relax, and have the perception of the body when it is relaxed. When the patient controls this feeling, is ready to go to the other phase. The therapist with a slow approach first show images of the feared object, when the patient is emitting a relaxed behavior. The next step could be the presentation of the object and then touch the object. The patient in the end of the therapy emits a relaxation behavior, because learned not to be anxious in the presence of the object.

In the beginning this therapy started in vivo, and with touchable objects, but nowadays with the advance of the technology, this treatment can be effective in more problems, like the “fear of fly”.

I also find a study case about the “Treatment of fear of fly” and the goal of this study is to take some conclusions about the assessment of the therapeutic success of systematic desensitization. The study had 41 participants: 20 were randomly assigned to the treatment group and 21 to the waiting control group. The instruments used are: Informatión Diagnóstica General sobre FObia a Volar (IDG_FV) and fear of flying scales.

With this study they conclude that this treatment it is a success to decrea or eradicate fear of fly. (

In this research I found to, on youtube a very good example of systematic desensitization that explains all the steps of this treatment. The girl tries to “eliminate a horse’s fear of balloons”. (

I have elicited a behavior of interest in Watson’s work on basic reflexes at birth and systematic desensitization. In his study called The Little Albert study he explained how a baby can associate a negative stimulus being a loud noise with a neutral stimulus being bunnies and rats. The baby “Little Alfred” heard a loud noise which in return scared him and he then disliked the animals because he associated the loud noise with the animals which became aversive. It just comes to show how research can show how at such a young age we can be influenced by things and it can have a lasting effect on us later in life. Watson goes on to say that he can take any child and make them whatever he wants. In my first article is an excerpt from ESPN talking about Andre Agassi and the book he wrote telling of his success in tennis was because of his father pushing him at such a young age keeping him out late hitting, but it did make him the number one tennis player in the world. It just comes to show that when someone is young basic reflexes have a huge impact on the future even though Andre did resort to drug use.
The second video I emitted a behavior of watching was about how systematic desensitization which is associated with Watson’s research as well. In the video they use the method to overcome fears which can be associated at a young age in this case being clowns. In the video a woman is exposed to clowns I which case is facing her fears through systematic desensitization.
I emitted a behavior of finding a website that explains the reason for producing some of the best soccer players around is because they start them so young through different programs. The academy swears that starting the kids young is the best way to make the kids such good athletes and it pushes the kids to do so well which is correlating the relationship of reflexes at a young age to improve these skills like Watson proposes.

This assignment immediately elicited me to think of extinction and extinction burst. These concepts were discussed in section 2.4 which explains extinction as the process that occurs when a previously reinforced behavior is no long reinforced. This process should eventually result in a decrease of the target behavior; however, something occurs during the process that can disrupt it and even undermine it all together, extinction burst. The first thing I researched was simply what extinction burst is. Extinction burst occurs after reinforcement of a previously reinforced behavior has ceased and the subject becomes desperate for that reinforcement. The burst is when the target behavior increases in frequency before it subsides. The amount of time the burst lasts varies and may actually last indefinitely. The reason extinction may not always be successful is due to extinction burst and the fact that it may be very annoying, thus the reinforcer may not be able to resist reinforcing the target behavior. Attention is a pretty strong reinforcer and is difficult to withhold. According to Wikipedia, extinction burst can also be understood using control theory. This is when there is a discrepancy between the current input and the desired output. When previous reinforcement is removed, discrepancy increases and the desired output (i.e. attention) is increased. In order to decrease the discrepancy, the individual will increase input, often frantically. The typical example of extinction and extinction burst is when a person emits putting money in a vending machine. People are typically reinforced by receiving food/drink from the machine, so if they put their money in and do not get reinforced, they go through extinction. Extinction burst in this situation occurs when the person emits the target behavior of pushing the buttons increasingly. We know that this won’t fix it, yet we emit it anyway. Oftentimes, extinction elicits people to emit the target behavior repeatedly until it is successfully extinguished. People may also emit a kicking, hitting, or other violent behavior toward the machine, known as variability. The book notes that when you see variability during an extinction burst, it is a good indicator that extinction success is likely. Reading this section elicited me to wonder how often extinction burst occurs with extinction, since the section made it seem inevitable.

Dorothea Lerman and Brian Iwata examined exactly that. They did a study entitled “Prevalence of the Extinction Burst and its Attenuation during Treatment” that analyzed 113 sets of extinction data. They were curious if extinction burst occurred at a high rate with extinction and if it is less likely if extinction is implemented with alternative procedures. As a result, they found that when extinction was implemented alone, extinction burst was evident in 36% of cases, while combining extinction with other treatments resulted in extinction burst in only 12% of cases. This shows that contrary to what one might think, extinction burst is not an all-the-time occurrence and that it can be avoided.

One specific instance when extinction burst is prevalent and can be transformed into something desired is when the subject emitting the target behavior has autism. It does not seem like extinction burst can be used in a desirable manner, so it was very interesting and helpful to research whether it can be. According to Alan Harchik, those with autism have a hard time conforming to behavior modification techniques, such as reinforcement (giving rewards). Often times they will receive reinforcement for aversive target behaviors accidentally because attention to them is very rewarding. Using extinction is a way to help decrease aversive behaviors, and can even be a way to help the autistic individual develop desired behaviors. This article discusses this concept. In order to actually decrease aversive behaviors and increase desired ones with extinction, it is important that you first provide positive reinforcement for a lot of small, other behaviors. Doing this, you can teach alternative and new skills, such as verbal language and independence. If you provide reinforcement consistently and regularly with such skills, you can use extinction to actually increase them. Withholding reinforcement of these behaviors will result in extinction burst of the target behavior. In contrast with typically extinction, people often fail and give in during extinction burst. In this situation, it is desired. When the autistic individual includes the skills previously reinforced, such as verbal language and independence more in order to get attention during extinction burst, finally giving in will reinforce the higher, more desirable outcome. Using this information, we could possibly turn something that is designed to reduce aversive behaviors into something to increase desired behaviors.

Using these sites assisted in my understanding of extinction and extinction burst. It is a concept that seems simple enough, but can be more complex. Not only do we not all display extinction burst every time extinction occurs, but we can actually transform it into something desirable. I found these concepts extremely interesting and they will help me implement extinction in many situations. – This article gave me a brief overview of extinction and extinction burst and how it can be understood using other theories. - This article examines the prevalence of extinction burst when extinction is implemented alone and with other treatments. It showed that extinction burst does not occur 100% of the time with extinction. - This article exhibited that extinction can be used in a desirable way instead of trying to only decrease aversive behaviors. It also explained how extinction is important and sometimes difficult in certain populations, such as those with autism.

When a human or animal encounters extinction, they may emit aggressive behaviors after numerous failed attempts to gain the reinforcer back. When a reinforcer is withheld, the behavior that was previously reinforced will be emitted more frequently and perhaps with great variability. This is called an extinction burst. Aggressive behaviors are often emitted due to desperation and frustration from the failed attempts to receive reinforcement. Aggressive behaviors are discussed in section 2.4 following the definitions of extinction and extinction bursts. I am interested in aggressive behaviors because they are present in everyday life, and these behaviors may be considered problematic. For example, a parent who extinguishes her child’s certain target behavior by removing a reinforcer may have a difficult time dealing with the aggressive behaviors emitted from the child which may be in the form of temper tantrums. Children aren’t the only ones that emit aggressive behaviors; teenagers, adults, and even animals are known to emit aggressive behaviors as well. In this youtube video, , a teenager displays disturbing behaviors after realizing his mother deleted his World of Warcraft account. The teenager is letting out his frustrations in the form of a severe temper tantrum. He punches his bed and wails for about five minutes. He even attempts to insert a remote control up his rectum. He wants his reinforcer (World of Warcraft account) back, so he will do anything. In this article, , pigeons emit aggressive behaviors when they no longer receive reinforcement in the form of food. These pigeons are so upset that they peck a restrained pigeon. Squirrel monkeys also displayed aggressive behaviors. When their reinforcer was extinguished, they would bite a rubber tube out of frustration. Extinction can make humans and animals lash out uncontrollably. In this article, , it states that rats and humans emit aggressive behaviors after extinction. The article states that after some time, the aggressive behaviors will stabilize, and extinction will eventually work. In order to successfully extinguish a behavior, one needs to be patient and not give in to the aggressive behaviors. Actually, when one emits aggressive behaviors, it is a sign that extinction is working.

The topic I decided to do further research on is why individuals decide to modify their behavior. This topic is related to the ABC’s and the class because behavior modification is what this class is all about. Section 1 discusses behavior principles such as the language of behavior, behavioral terms, and touches on reinforcement and punishment. Section 2 discusses what exactly behavior modification is along with going more in depth on the topics of punishment and reinforcement. Section 3 goes into detail on specific psychologists that have made significant contributions to the history of behavior. Thorndike, Skinner, Pavlov, and Watson are the main people that have been studied so far in the class. Thorndike was primary interested in animal intelligence. He studied animal intelligence by manipulating a cat in a box that had string levers until it found a way to set itself free. Skinner was an inventor, a writer, and a researcher who came to believed in a concept known as social engineering. He believed that by creating the right environment we can predict and control behavior to benefit society. Pavlov is one of the most frequently referenced people in psychology. He is known for his classical conditioning experiment with dogs, salivation, and the sound of a bell. Watson believed psychology was the study of behavior and that humans and animals learned to adjust to the environment through habits and reflex. He believed there was no diving line between the two.

I am interested in learning about why individuals decide to modify their behavior because there is so much history about ways to actually modify behaviors. Is it a social acceptance issue? Is it an issue between a spouse or loved one? Is modifying the behavior in your best interest health wise? Section 2 is titled “What is Behavior Modification?” Wikipedia defines it as; “Behavior modification is the use of empirically demonstrated behavior change techniques to improve behavior, such as altering an individual’s behaviors and reaction to stimuli through positive and negative reinforcement of adaptive behavior and/or the reduction of maladaptive behavior through positive and negative punishment.” Section 2 also discusses four common reasons individuals decide to modify their behavior. These reasons are: the behaviors bother us, the individual, the behaviors bother others, the behaviors may lead to trouble, and/or the behaviors are illegal. These are very broad reasons are probably cover the majority of reasons why an individual may want to modify his or her behavior. Since this is such a broad topic, I will only go further in-depth on one category. I’m choosing to do further research on why an individual chooses to commit illegal acts, even more specifically, shoplifting. I’m choosing to do this because I used to live with a girl that was a frequent shoplifter. She would steal anything and everything, from food coloring, to shoes, to hundreds of dollars worth on underwear. Why did she do this? Was it simply because she could and get away with it? Or was there more behind her reasons for shoplifting?

There are two types of shoplifters: professional and amateur. Professional shoplifters often steal things that are higher in price and worth more value. Casual shoplifters steal things of lesser value and not a regular basis. There is also the category of kleptomaniacs. Wikipedia defines Kleptomania as “an irresistible urge to steal items of trivial value. People with this disorder are compelled to steal things, generally, but not limited to, objects of little or no significant value, such as pens, paper clips, paper and tape. Some kleptomaniacs may not even be aware that they have committed the theft.” Kleptomania differs from professional and amateur shoplifting because it is an actual mental disorder. Kleptomaniacs don’t steal in order to gain anything they are simply compelled without motive. This disorder typically develops during puberty and may last for the individuals’ entire life, if not treated.

Focusing more on professional and amateur shoplifting now in order to related it to behavior modification. There have been many psychologists throughout history that have tried to modify the behavior of animals by performing certain animal experiments. The majority of them led to some sort of finding related to brain activity, memory, and behavior, positive and negative reinforcement/punishment. When it comes to shoplifting, how do you modify this behavior? Well, there are many ways. You could get caught, go to jail and most likely never steal again. You may realize the crowd you want to fit in with is creating an extreme amount of peer pressure on you and get sick of it. Or you may seek professional help because you don’t think it is a behavior you can modify on your own. Sometimes the guilt alone can be enough to make a person stop shoplifting. A support group is a common way to help prevent future incidents of shoplifting to occur. If an individual has a few close friends, they could find other activities to do that didn’t include shoplifting. If they did all go shopping, they could stick together the whole time for moral support. Shoplifting is a behavior that is more common than most people realize. I work in the Union at a coffee shop and I see people steal coffee once and awhile. They will simply walk up the coffee, fill their mug, and walk away. I’m not sure if guilt is something that even crosses their mind, but maybe one day I will stop them before they scurry off and suggest that they modify their current behavior.

I have recently emitted an interest for extinction bursts. The reason I find these interesting was because I think its very funny when people have extinction bursts and look like a complete psycho in public. A great example is the video of this kid showing us an extinction burts on a pop machine.
This is a prime example of how extinction burst works. The kid put the money in the machine and when he wasn't rewarded with the pop he tried other things to get rewarded.
This next exmaple of an extinction burst shows how extinction bursts affect everyone and are not exclusive to humans. In this video the dog will help the lady with the laundry and is getting reinforced for each article of clothing. Towards the end you will see that the reward will come less and less as the video progresses. The dog will emit a behavior of working harder and even pushing the clothes into the owners mouth. This is an extinction burst to try to get back to getting a treat every time other than some of the time.
Another thing I have observed about extinction bursts are the ways that they have tested extinction burst in the past. One experiment on extinction bursts is the one where you put a bird in a cage and when it presses a button it gets bird seed. After the bird had been conditioned to this the button would be turned off. When the button was turned off the bird would emit an extinction burst when it wasn't being reinforced for the button pushing behavior. This is just one test of many interesting tests on extinction burst.

After emitting a reviewing behavior, I decided to delve more into research and examples of classical conditioning. Classical conditioning is discussed in the chapters in section 3. I find classical conditioning to be interesting because I have covered it and seen its uses in my other classes, as well as this one. Before emiting a reading behavior of chapters about it, Pavlov's research elicited a response of fascination in me.
My first source is a YouTube video that show an example of classical conditioning. The clip (excuse the bad quality of the video) is from the TV show, The Office. In this clip, Jim conditions Dwight to expect (and need) an Altoid whenever he hears the sound of Jim's computer rebooting. In this case, the neutral stimulus of the rebooting sound becomes a conditioned stimulus that elicits the unconditioned response of a bad tasting mouth by using the conditioned response of receiving an Altoid. The rebooting sound and the Altoids have a positive contingency.
I mentioned previously that classical conditioning interested me because I learned about its uses in other classes. While emitting the behavior of researching, an article elicited a remembering response in me of the example of classical conditioning I learned about in biological psychology. The article talks about the role classical conditioning takes in the bodies of drug addicts. Certain environmental cues (in some cases a specific room or street where the drug is taken) are neutral stimuli that become conditioned stimuli that elicits the unconditioned response in the body to anticipate the drug in hopes of maintaining homeostasis. For example, if a drug lowered body temperature or heart rate, the unconditioned response of the body would be to raise body temperature and heart rate before the drug is in the body in order to maintain homeostasis when the drug is introduced. Therefore, the conditioned stimulus of the environmental cues (room) have a positive contingency with the conditioned response of taking the drug. This is considered very dangerous for drug addicts because due to the body's unconditioned response to the conditioned stimuli, the body can develop a conditioned tolerance to that drug while taking it in that specific room. The more tolerant the body becomes to the drug, the higher the dosage the addict will need to take to get high. However, if the drug is taken in a different location with different environmental cues (conditioned stimuli), the body will not undergo the unconditioned response of preparing for the drug, and if the same high dosage is taken in the new setting as was the old setting, it can result in a possibly deadly overdose. Fascinating, right?
In another one of my psychology classes (social psychology this time), we learned about the uses of classical conditioning and persuasion typically used in advertising. This article is short, but the subject we learned in class was not. The article uses the example of beer companies using attractive women in their ads. The neutral stimulus of the attractive woman becomes a conditioned stimulus that elicits an unconditioned response of pleasure, want, and slight arousal which becomes associated with the implied conditioned response of buying that particular brand of beer. The conditioned response is implied because the advertisement merely suggests that buying their brand of beer will bring attractive women. The beer and attractive women then have a positive contingency. See? This is just too much fun. - This video shows an example of classical conditioning in which the sound of a computer rebooting gains as positive contingency with an Altoid. - This article talks about how classical conditioning in the body can be a cause of drug tolerance and overdose in drug addicts. - This blog talks about how classical conditioning is used in advertising to associate certain products with pleasurable feelings and desirable features and persons.

I emitted an action of being interested in researching more about Ivan Pavlov and different types of conditioning. After looking into to it some more, I didn’t realize there were that many different types of conditioning, so I will focus on just one: trace conditioning. Trace conditioning was introduced in section 3.3 and elicits some interest from the stand point of almost being confusing until investigated more. The way to start would be to give a definition of trace conditioning: During trace conditioning the CS and US do not overlap. Instead, the CS is presented, a period of time is allowed to elapse during which no stimuli are presented, and then the US is presented. The stimulus-free period is called the trace interval. It may also be called the conditioning interval. (Wiki) This shows us that a conditioned stimulus (CS) and an unconditioned stimulus (US) are given at different times and they should elicit a different response compared to other types of conditioning techniques. Yet they should yield some sort of response. I find it interesting that most of our actions/reactions can be broken down into simple thoughts.
I feel that some of the best classical conditioning is done in advertisements/commercials. “In attempting to induce positive emotional responses toward a product or idea, advertisers use classical conditioning techniques. They pair their product with an attractive, desirable individual or situation to evoke a pleasant response.” Or “In advertising on TV for example (seriously, they always do this), many beer ads always feature attractive young women wearing bikinis. The young women (Unconditioned Stimulus) naturally elicit a favorable aroused feeling (Unconditioned Response) in most men. The beer is simply associated with this effect. That is why men bought them. A lot too. Just joking.” Which goes hand in hand---we see something or hear about something that elicits an excitable response (like the Burgerking burger shot ad): . There are many different types of ads or slogans that evoke us to respond in different ways. For example during WWII “I want you!”. That would evoke a response, maybe delayed, maybe immediate, or maybe somewhere in between to join the armed forces. Or adversely not join the armed forces. But you could say that about almost every advertisement (selling something or wanting you to do something) is an example of classical conditioning (you buy me, you will get the response that you want). Here are a few more examples of clear ads or good examples of classical conditioning.
From a psychology class but shows us in another way how classical conditioning works.
Or owning a VW van will bring four beautiful women with it.
This article is a little dated (1985) but shows us that forward conditioning is better than backwards conditioning in consumer behavior.
The world of business has been looking at consumer behavior forever. Looking at it from a conditioning standpoint changes your thinking a little though.
This last one does not have to do with advertising, more of something I would have done to my younger brother.

I elicited the feeling of being most intrigued by the concept of systematic desensitization. It seems to elicit a presence in multiple chapters. I am also interested in it because I elicited as sad response to the fact that Little Albert did not go through a form of systematic desensitization after they taught him to fear. Just like teaching someone to elicit a response, desensitizing them to the response seems equally difficult.

Systematic desensitization fits into the chapter a couple ways. I was one of the chapters emitted in the text for this week (3.4) and it also relates to the Mary Cover Jones and Little Albert cases. Mary Cover Jones believed that fear and phobias could be treated. I think this is especially interesting because the idea of “facing ones’ fears” is important and challenging. Everyone seems to have fears or a phobia of some sort and I elicit an interest in the concept of training someone not to have that fear just as they can be trained to have a fear. It’s amazing how behavior can be modified even when it is an irrational part of a person’s personality/being.
Phobias are interesting because they are sometime very crazy and usually irrational. Sometimes they are even silly. I enjoy watching people’s crazy methods to avoiding their fears. Anxiety disorders and fears help to use the concept of systematic desensitization through relaxation techniques. People can also visualize and take small steps toward conquering their fears. Controlled breathing, muscle relaxation, and imagining of being in a happy place all to help overcome problems and fears. The lady in this video was deathly afraid of spiders. In other words she was an arachnophobic. She would wear tons of clothing, watch for the spiders like it was her job, barely go outside, tape the doorways around the room, and clean everything with which she came in contact. The film is about her conquering her film using virtual programs to desensitize her slowly away from her fear. It took a long time, but it helped her to become more comfortable with the idea of seeing and even having a spider on her. She was desensitized to the point of being able to go camping and even hold a tarantula. This video has a young woman who elicits an irrational fear of cotton and foam peanuts. It is a very humorous clip. First of all, she emits a fear that seems very irrational and funny. The clip is from the Maury show. She is unable to open her mail, take medicine, use a queue-tip, etc. Maury is trying to desensitize her from her fear of cotton and foam peanuts. It doesn’t really work however, because he skips a lot of steps. He brings in a man covered in cotton and surrounds her with bins of cotton. She has a panic attack and does not yet face her fears. However, Maury has arranged to use a motivational hypnotist to desensitize the young woman from her fears. He shows another possible idea for eliciting treatment of a phobia. Perhaps hypnosis, like virtual reality machines, will work to help the young woman conquer her fear. This lady has coulrophobia. She is deathly afraid of clowns and she has a panic attack when she sees them. The researcher/man in the film is working to desensitize her to the fear. He starts by showing he pictures of clowns. He tries to help her rationalize the situations. He works her step by step and gets her to slowly see clowns. He doesn’t make her face the clown one on one. He helps her ease into conquering her fear/phobia. Slowly she gets used to the idea of clowns and she becomes more comfortable and less anxious. He helps her through her fears and slowly helps her desensitized herself to the fear and start to accept and be less afraid of clowns. This clip shows a girl who is terrified of vomit. She is afraid that if someone else were to through up, she would too and that would be embarrassing. She has emetophobia. She rarely even leaves her apartment because the fear is so strong. This doesn’t really show how to desensitize her or solve her problem, but it is still interesting to learn about the really weird and crazy phobias that are out there!

For my blog I decided to emit the behavior of learning about taste aversion or conditioned taste aversion. This was mentioned briefly at the end of the classical conditioning chapter, and I thought it would be interesting. Taste aversion occurs when one is repulsed to eat a certain item of food based on an aversive experience prior. This aversive experience could include getting ill, but it isn’t limited to that. There are many examples out there such as someone getting sick off of seafood and never being able to eat it again because they feel sick even looking at it. The first site I looked at gave me many different types of examples of what could be considered taste aversion. You can get taste aversion with any sort of aversive stimulus you associate with a particular food item; it doesn’t have to be just getting sick. Maybe, when you were younger your parents fought a lot, but it seemed as if they always fought when you were eating mac and cheese. Thus, it elicits the response of not being able to eat mac and cheese without feeling sick. You have conditioned the mac and cheese with fighting and feeling sick so now you are unable to emit the behavior of eating it. There are also certain situations a person can be in that can create taste aversion. Sometimes people on certain medications or chemo are unable to eat certain foods because they have gotten sick off of them before, and it triggers an aversive feeling. Sometimes alcohol does the same thing. However, there are some other situations that can cause this. In a Youtube clip I looked up a young boy is unable to eat anything orally. He was premature and was hooked up to tubes so long that he has created a taste aversion to pretty much anything. He has to be fed in other ways. Apparently, this happens quite a bit with premature babies. Another case would be during pregnancy. Most women experience morning sickness during pregnancy. Doctors recommend that they don’t eat certain things during this time period. Many women get taste aversion to things such as poultry, certain dairy products, certain vegetables, and many other things. 85% of women get taste aversion during pregnancy to foods that the once really enjoyed. It has even been said that an extreme form of taste aversion would be anorexia. Taunting and teasing elicits an aversive feeling when eating or around food. This ultimately leads to the person avoiding that food. I thought that taste aversion would be an interesting topic to look up because it happens so often in our everyday lives, and is a good form of classical conditioning. (different kinds of taste aversions) (young boy not able to eat food orally) (pregnancy taste aversion)
Terms used: emit, aversive, taste aversion, classical conditioning, behavior, emit, learning, conditioned, elicits.

After our recent reading assignment, it has elicited my behavior of researching John B. Watson and behaviorism. I found his theories and experiments quite interesting, so a little more investigating was obviously in order! Clearly, this relates to sections 3.3 & 3.4. In section 3.3, classical conditioning is discussed and that relates to Watson's little Albert study, which leads me to my first link.

In this youtube video, we see John Watson's experiment with nature vs. nurture. In this case, he tries to show his audience that more behaviors are learned from the environment around us. To show this, he uses the emotion/behavior of fear. Little Albert is the baby used in this experiment. When Watson places objects such as fire, rats, monkeys, and dogs. Little Albert shows little fear to these things. However, when Watson accompanies a loud banging noise with the rat, Little Albert soon becomes afraid of, not only the rat, but anything furry. This shows that most behaviors we emit are based on our environment, rather than our genetics... Even something so common as fear. This is an extension of Watson's main idea/theory of behaviorism, which leads me to my next website.

On this web page, I found some good information on Watson's theories f behaviorism. I thought this would be important to understand the entire picture that Watson was trying to capture through his behaviorist theories. To quickly summarize some of his main points, I will talk about what Watson considers psychology to be. Psychology, according to Watson, is completely objective and an experimental of natural science with little introspection. He also believes that the behaviors of animals and the behaviors human can be studied alongside each other. Finally, going back to the Little Albert study, I want to discuss the nature vs. nurture debate.

On this webpage, it discusses Watson and his views on the nature vs. nurture issue. He believes that most of us are nurtured by our family, mainly our parents, and our environment to make us who we are and how we react to things. I found a great quote on this website that I would like to share:

Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I'll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select--doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief, and, yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors.

This relates closely to the Little Albert study, showing that the baby was not scared of any object placed in front of him, until it was accompanied by an aversive stimulus: the clanging noise. Which, in turn, leads to classical conditioning. Little Albert was conditioned to fear anything furry. He was not born this way, obviously, so the only legitimate answer would be that he learned it through classical conditioning! Also, this webpage mentions that in Watson's book entitled "Psychological Care of Infant and Child", he discusses ways that parents can raise their children not to be spoiled, and rather fearless and self-reliant.

Chapter three elicited a sense of familiarity as I emitted a reading behavior on it. It brought me back to History and Systems where we covered so many great psychological figures. One of my favorite colleges was the college of behavioralism so I found this chapter more pleasurable to emit a learning behavior on. One figure in particular that I find rather interesting and is someone who is just used as an introductory figure used to build up to Watson’s works is Edward Thorndike.
Thorndike was one of the first psychologists to get a majority of his education here in the U.S. He studied under William James at Harvard, during that time he was interested in working with children, but James talked him out of it due to another psychologist getting into trouble doing research. Instead Thorndike began work with chicks; of course I’m referring to a baby chicken and not females. Thorndike later worked at Columbia and went on to become President of the APA where he worked on many journals.
Thorndike played a major role in the development of behavioralism in the psychological field beginning with his puzzle boxes and experiments with cats. Thorndike was interested in how a new skill is learned. He found that with his experiments with the cats it was not do to some genetic predisposition, but a learned behavior due to trial and error. The first time the cat was placed in the box, it didn’t know what to do. Each time following, the cat would become faster at escaping. If the behavior learned brings a reward it becomes stamped in the mind. Behavior changes because of consequence.
Another of Thorndike’s contributions was his theory of Connectionism in which organisms develop a connection between stimuli and responses. This was an extension of association but dealt with more objective things. Adding to the list was his Law of Effect, which I touched on earlier, that basically states if you get a good outcome, you associate it with the situation and you’ll end up using it again. Lastly Thorndike came up with the Law of Exercise which says the more you use something or some solution in a certain situation; the more you tend to associate it with that situation.
I believe this ties into not only this chapter, but the entire course because the course is structured around behavioralism and all that it encompasses. Thorndike was a major leader in the college of behavioralism and paved the way for many other s such as Pavlov and Watson, but still maintaining his own identity.
This clip shows Thorndike’s puzzle boxes.
This is a clip someone did for a psychology project and gives background info on Thorndike.
This clip is from and not only gives background info, it also covers his many accomplishments.

After emitting a reading behavior of the assignment for this Thursday I decided that positive punishment was the best topic. Positive punishment was one of the main topics we learned so far in class and it in section 2.3 of our book, which is the section on punishment. The first website that I elicited for information on positive punishment was It gave me basic insights into what exactly positive punishment is and also offered a few basic examples. Positive punishment is adding an aversive consequence due to the emitting of a target behavior that is supposed to be decreased or ended completely. A great example is spanking a child. This is adding spanking as an aversive consequence due to the child’s bad behavior. My second source is from YouTube and it is about two women emitting a positive punishing behavior to a dog for jumping on the couch by squirting it with water. This all happens in the first twenty seconds of the clip and is a great visual example. I recommend that you emit a watching behavior of this video if you’re confused on positive punishment.
My last article that I emitted a reading behavior of was from It was about which was better: reinforcement or punishment. It tries to answer the question of which is better for training a dog. The article tries to point out that reinforcement is a better method and punishment should only be used in extreme cases where the targeted behavior must end immediately. It says that continual punishment for training will lead to avoidance and discomfort around the administer of the punishment. I am in agreement with the article and it ties in well to this blog on positive punishment well because if you want to know more about positive punishment you should also learn about the flip side which is reinforcement.overall this article ties in well with the topic in a getting a better knowledge of the affects of positive punishment as well.
This site explained and gave basic examples of positive punishment so I could better understand the material.
My second source is a YouTube clip of two women and a dog showing positive punishment. It gives a great visual example in the first 20 seconds of positive punishment.
this is an article from that argues between reinforcement and punishment.

I emitted an interest for systematic desensitization. This topic was covered when we were emitting a behavior of reading about Watson and his studies. I am constantly made fun of for my weird fears, so this really interested me. Also, after emitting a searching behavior of this topic, I found more interesting things, as well as some crazy phobias. I think that systematic desensitization is interesting because it is supposed to help you get over phobias.

The first video I found is a lady expressing her fear of flying. She explains how she use to freak out just being in the airport and seeing a plane flying in the sky. She focused on the comfortable feelings instead of her fearful thoughts and found that the fear tends to just "melt". Now, she loves to fly and everytime she gets on a plane she has a sense of control because she beat the battle with her phobia.

The second clip I found is about a grown guy who is afraid of peaches and has been his whole life. When Maury shows a picture of peaches, the guy freaks out and runs backstage. After awhile, he comes back out but when Maury brings out buckets of peaches, the guy flips out and runs through the audience, runs into a wall and then cowers in a corner. To get over his problem, Maury invited him to be on the show so that he could give him advice on how to not be afraid of peaches.

The third video is about an 18 year old girl named Emily who was also on the Maury show, but at a different time than my previous example. Emily is afraid of cotton balls, more than needles and has been her entire life. She describes how it makes her feel anxious, and like the room is closing in on her. To cure her fear, Maury has a hypnotist who is going to work with her and conquer her fear of cotton.

The topic I decided to chose was the ABC’s. It is the very base of everything we have been learning thus far so I figured it’d be a good topic to reflect back on and see what else I could find out about it. My topic of the ABC’s fits perfectly into this chapter because this chapter has been discussing conditioning which is what the theory of the ABC’s came from and it also talks about Pavlov, Skinner, and Watson who are all prominent figures in the development of the idea of conditioning and the ABC’s themselves. One of the websites I found actually talked about those figures so it all fits really well together and helps me to understand the ABC’s even more. I will now discuss each one of the sources and how they tie in to the ABC’s.
This is a man who is breaking down a behavior using the ABC’s. He is trying to change his daughters’ behaviors of not doing their chores by changing the consequence that comes of the said behavior from him getting upset to them having to do even more chores. Because he broke down the antecedent which was having a dirty house, the behavior which is girls not doing their chores, and the consequence which was they had even more chores to do. We saw how the girls did not like it so it is an aversive punishment which will make the emitted behavior of not doing their chores likely to decrease in frequency. This is a great showing of behavior modification using the ABC’s.
This site starts out by talking about the ABC’s being created from operant conditioning. The site talks about Watson, Thorndike, and of course Skinner’s contribution to the theory and how it all came to be. Next the site goes on to break down the Antecedent, Behavior, and Consequence. Finally it discusses the application of the ABC’s to behaviors. It is a great basic site to learn the fundamentals and a little history about the ABC’s.
This website shows how the ABC’s are applied in a Functional Behavioral Assesement. I thought it was extremely interesting to see how something as seemingly simple as the ABC’s could be applied to a rather complex idea and break it down so that it is easy to understand. I would recommend others to visit this site and it has some great charts that break it down and just really show the ABC’s nicely.

The topic I chose to find sites for was classical conditioning. We talked about it in section 3.3 but it has been applicable. I am interested in this topic for two reasons: first because I initially had trouble distinguishing some examples between classical and operant conditioning, and second because as a future counselor (and current dog owner)I am interested in the practical application of classical conditioning for behavior modification. I learn and remember things best when I see real life examples so I chose to use all youtube clips.

First I chose a clip of a dog barking and running to the door every time it heard a knocking sound. This is because the dog has been conditioned to associate the sound of the knocking with the introduction to guests into the household.

Next I chose a clip of a girl doing an experiment on her dad. Every time she coughed in his presence she sprayed him with a water bottle. After several trial, the stimulus of the cough leads to the reflex of the dad raising his hand and guarding his face. This is classical conditioning because the cough stimulus is salient enough to be recognized and reacted to.

This was my favorite clip because its funny. This is a clip from Two and a Half Men. They are in a bar called "Pavlov's" and every time they ring the bell behind the bar everyone has to drink a tequila shot. When Allan asks Charlie why they are drinking his response is "because the bell rang". This is essentially the original Pavlov experiment but instead of dogs the subjects are human beings and instead of meat powder the stimulus added is liqueur. The conditioned stimulus is the bell and the conditioned response is taking the shot.

The topic I was elicited to write about was extinction because before this class if you were to ask me what extinction was I would have said, “isn’t that what happened to the dinosaurs?” I would have been wrong because as we have learned in this class, extinction is when you stop the reinforcement of a behavior. This is a pretty easy topic to understand and so many things out there involve extinction and we do not even realize. So for this topic I found three videos from YouTube to use as examples of extinction.

This first video I have for an example is of a dog owner playing fetch with the dog and then after a few hours no longer throws the ball. The owner is taking away the reinforcement of playing fetch with the dog which makes this an example of extinction. I found this video to be quite boring, but it was a good example of extinction so it works for this assignment.

The second video I emitted in the watching behavior was a Vicks commercial in which a kid throws a temper tantrum in a store. The mother responds to this by throwing a temper tantrum as well. This elicited the kid to stop throwing the tantrum because he realizes how much of a scene he was making by watching his mother. This is an example of extinction because the child was throwing a temper tantrum to get something, and instead of the mother ignoring the child, she too threw a temper tantrum which extinguished the child's temper tantrum. I found this video very funny and I think it is such a great way of going about the situation. I could see me doing using this form of extinction to manipulate my children’s behavior some day.

The third video I found for an example is a women using extinction on her dog when he emits a whining behavior when he sees his leash. When the dog sees his leash he gets real excited and starts to whine. So in order to extinguish this behavior the owner ignores the dogs whining behavior. This is an example of extinction because the owner took away reinforcement when the dog would whine. I think this is a good example of extinction, however I was never able to use in my own life because I got annoyed by the whining too easily and found it hard to ignore.

A topic that really elicited interest from me is systematic desensitization. I chose this topic because in my abnormal psychology class we learned about how systematic desensitization is used to get rid of phobias. I remember the phobia that was discussed most in that class was the fear of heights and each session, the therapist would take the person one level higher until they were at the top. It was really interesting how well the technique works.

The first site I found is on Dr. Phils website. He is describing how one can systematically desensitize themselves and he gives steps to help to accomplish that. His method involves a lot of controlled breathing. I'm not a huge follower of Dr. Phil but I thought it would be interesting to see what he has to say about it.

The next article is from an online therapy website and at the top it says its goal is to challenge negative thinking patterns that cause panic attacks. It goes on to mention Wolpe and how he developed techniques to reduce anxiety to stop panic attacks. This website also involves controlled breathing and muscle relaxation, which makes sense because that is one of the prominent symptoms of a panic attack-narrowed air passage.

The third example is an old clip of a therapist who is trying to help a young boy to get rid of his unrelenting fear of the dentist. He has some dentist tool in his hand and he starts by having the boy hold it and move it around in his hand. Then he takes and and puts it by the boys face. He is gradually moving the tool closer in order to rid the boy of his fear instead of just thrusting him into a dentists office. This shows systematic desensitization because the fear of the dentist is a common fear so a lot of people can relate to it.

Systematic desensitization was talked about in chapter 3.4 about Watson. With systematic desensitization, the patient is basically desensitized to previously anxiety-provoking stimulus through pleasant visualizations, progressive muscle relaxation, and positive self-talk. The goal of systematic desensitization is to reduce the learned association between fear and objects or situations that elicit fear. The anxiety-provoking stimuli is presented simultaneously with the relaxation techniques since your body cannot be both anxious and relaxed at the same time. You will either be relaxed or anxious. Systematic desensitization helps clients mediate tension and cope with anxiety, instead of replacing it.
Developing an anxiety hierarchy is important with the implementation of systematic desensitization because in order to successfully be able to cope with the anxiety-provoking stimulus, we need to gradually work our way up from the least anxiety-provoking stimuli to the most anxiety-provoking stimuli. We work our way up from experiencing the least anxiety-provoking stimuli all the way up to the most anxiety-provoking stimuli in order to become comfortable with the transition to the thing that causes you the most anxiety.
Instead of jumping right in to relaxing visualizations, muscle relaxation and breathing techniques are used first before visualizations. Then the two can accompany each other when the client is ready.
Visualization should be made as real as possible, including sounds, smells, tastes, temperature, other people, etc. To start off, the client is told to visualize a relaxing scene or something that elicits comfort within the client. Then, moving up the anxiety hierarchy, the client is told to visualize the things that correspond to the level of anxiety that they are comfortable with. If the client experiences more than 30 seconds of anxiety, he/she is told to return to the relaxing visualization until they are ready to continue. It has been said that mental imaging is the least effective method of exposure. This is a gradual process and should not be rushed!
An anxiety scale is usually used where 2 or 3 would be mild anxiety and a 10 would be extreme anxiety/terror.

After emitting a reading behavior of the assignment for Thursday, I immediately thought of the Mary Cover Jones study of “Peter”. I thought of this for two reasons. One of these reasons is that it was the last thing I read before doing this assignment so the Law of Recency kicked in. This case was the most recent case I read, so it was the most likely to be recalled. Another reason I would like to learn more about the topic is my fear of heights. It is not a life-altering phobia, but I would rather not experience it. Jones was one of the first to rid people of phobias by using systematic desensitization and that is something that is relatable to not only me, but anyone who has a phobia.
To start the research process, I thought I would learn more about the woman who initiated the idea of systematic desensitization, Mary Cover Jones had always been very interested in psychology when she was growing up and continued this interest into her collegiate career. She finished her Master’s in a year and later took a job as a researcher at Columbia University and worked with fellow psychology legend John B. Watson. This is where her famous study of Peter occurred. It is almost definitely her most famous work and she had not even completed her doctorate yet. A few years after that, Jones embarked on the ambitious project of tracking elementary students throughout their lives to observe how they developed. This consumed most of her life and she published over 100 articles involving this study which was called the Oakland Growth Study. This new knowledge elicits a lot of respect from me knowing she is very well-rounded.
Systematic desensitization was pioneered by Mary Cover Jones and is a very effective way of improving people’s lives that have phobias. Previously only given by therapists, it has been proven to be very effective when self-administered. Systematic desensitization can be considered facing ones fears systematically. One is not just thrown into a situation where they are scared out of their mind, however. The person will be slowly introduced to different aspects of the fear until they emit a behavior of relaxation. The person then faces something slightly more fearful and repeats the process until they are over their phobia. There are some criteria for when it is more successful. It helps a lot if the phobia is something specific rather than a general fear. It also is helpful if the fear is not because of the person lacking skill (i.e. public speaking).
The last source I found useful displays the hierarchy of systematic desensitization. The example it uses is arachnophobia which I found helpful because it is a very common fear. It displays how going from just thinking about a spider to physically encountering one is possible through systematic desensitization. It also describes the steps involved for each level of the hierarchy. Here is the description the website provided:
• Retreat - Retreat or stop even though the anxiety is low;
• Relax – Use relaxation skills to relax further;
• Recover – Restore a sense of calm and well-being;
• Repeat - Repeat the exposure in the same hierarchy step.

The topic I chose to write about is trial and error learning. This topic interests me because it can seem so simple at times, but it can go far in-depth and get pretty complex. As I was reading about this topic in section 3.1, I realized that people don’t often realize that just because we don’t learn something the first time doesn’t mean we won’t ever learn it.
The first article I read was about trial and error learning in older adults. According to this article in Psych Central, “learning the hard way”, or making mistakes, seemed to be the best way for older adults to preserve memory. Studies were done with young adults and older adults, and the tests included trial-and-error learning as well as errorless learning. The results from both studies showed that the subjects remembered the learning contexts better through trial and error learning. The older adult group ranked about 2.5 times higher than the performance of the younger adults in trial and error learning. The researchers in this study said that these results came as a surprise since previous research has shown that making mistakes while learning hinders learning, and errorless learning is supposed to work better for older adults.
Another article I read titled “The Effective Learning Method of Trial and Error” descries the trial and error process in-depth. One thing I really liked about this article was the statement “The best way to learn how to swim is to jump into the water”. This means that if you want to learn how to do something, you’re going to have to dive in and start working your way through the system. The key to being successful at the end is to stay committed. With trial and error learning, you are obviously going to encounter errors along the way which will have an aversive effect on you and may discourage you from proceeding. However, you will also encounter things that will reinforce your behavior and eventually you will find a way to reach your desired result.
A third article I found explains trial and error learning, but discusses the fact that some people fail to go through the trial phase in fear of experiencing the error. This could be for good reason if the error could be physically harmful or something of that sort, but overall errors are good for us because we learn from them. We learn what NOT to do, and in most cases, no errors means no success. One way to look at this situation is that your method might work and you get the results you want. However, this also means that you were making a mistake all the while you were not trying to get these results. Overall, this article is saying that trial and error learning is a very efficient way of learning, and being afraid of the trial because of the error is not something that should hold us back from attempting something. taught me about learning processes in older adults and compared them to younger adults helped me better understand, in-depth, the process of trial and error learning and how it can really work gave me a better understanding of why people choose to use or not use trial and error learning

A topic I thought was interesting was when I emitted the behavior of reading section 3.4 and when it talked about phobias and how systematic desensitization helps elevates phobias. I decided to look into Obsessive- compulsive Disorder and different treatments used similar to systematic desensitization like what Mary Cover Jones used with Peter. First I found some facts about obsessive-compulsive disorder. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder that created uncontrollable thoughts and repetitive ritualized behaviors that someone feels compelled to perform. People can fall into many categories of obsessive-compulsive disorder or known as OCD. A person may fall into the category of a washer, someone who is afraid of contamination. Hand-washing is a big obsession of people with OCD. Checkers is someone who repeatedly checks things that they think may cause harm or danger. It’s a thought that stays in their brain that they can’t shake. An example is someone who checks their door to make sure its locked. They might emit this behavior 50 times before they are satisfied. Another category someone may fall into is a doubter and sinners. People who fall into this category are afraid that if they don’t do everything perfect or done just right something bad will happen to them or someone they love. Counters and arrangers are obsessed with order and symmetry. They are particular about numbers, colors and arrangements. The last category is hoarders. A hoarder is someone how is afraid to throw something away or someone who hoards certain items that brings them comfort. Some examples are people who hoard all their children’s things, drawings, clothes, and school work. Another example is someone who hoards pets.
The most common treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder is cognitive-behavioral therapy. The first step they do in this type of treatment for OCD is exposure and response prevention which involves exposing a person to the obsession they emit. Next, they try and get the compulser to refrain from the obsessive behavior so they might make someone only wash their hands after they go to the bathroom and still make the person touch things they think are contaminated like a door handle and not allow them to wash their hands. This may increase a person’s anxiety but as they sit and refrain from the obsessive behavior the anxiety will start to depreciate. The next component to treatment for
OCD is cognitive therapy which focuses on the mind and the thoughts that a person may express with OCD. They retrain a person’s thought process.
Ways a person can help themselves with OCD is by finding ways to practice relaxation techniques, eat healthy and practice healthy habits, get enough sleep, exercise, stay connected with family and friends as support and avoid alcohol and substances.
I think this is related to systematic desensitization in that it desensitizes a behavior and retrains a behavior and the though process behind a behavior. Is also relates because they use visualization and interactions with a specific compulsive behavior for OCD.


Topical Blog Week 8
My topic is about discriminative stimulus. I really enjoyed the chapter on these topic because I like knowing how our everyday behavior is influenced by many things around us they we may not even realize. This fits into the chapter because these things modify behavior which is what we are currently studying. What is interesting about discriminative stimulus is that without any fore knowledge these change our behaviors without much effort.
This is a picture of a no u turn sign. This is an example of DS because we know the consequence of our action is to get a ticket so we avoid emitting the behavior so as to avoid the aversive consequence and we do this without even thinking about it and this sign alone is enough to modify our behavior.
This is a useful website because it give a good explanations about what DS is and background information about how this was discovered and used when it was first used. It also talked about stimulus control.
I enjoyed this website because it has guidelines for designing and delivering stimuli. This website focuses on children. It gives tips on how to use DS on children. They focus on children with autism.

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