classical conditioning

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Bathroom floorAs a pre-school child one of my absolute favourite games was Wednesday’s washing the bathroom floor. Mumsie would fill up a beach-bucket with warm foamy water, give me a smallhand-size brush and leave me in the bathroom. I was allowed to slop the hot foamy water all over the floor. What FUN! When I’d finished I told mum and she’d come in and finish off the details with her own BIG bucket of soapy water and a towel. I’d help with the towel

During my first week at school, when I got home on Wednesday I asked for my bucket to help wash the bathroom floor, but mum had already done it. I cried

Psychologists call this ‘Classical‘, as oppose to ‘Operant’ conditioning, where a person (originally tested with dogs) learns to associate the co-occurence of an event (bell ringing) with a rewarding experience (enjoyment of food) such that when the event contiunes without the reward the dog behaives as-if the reward is coming.

For me this was associating ‘fun’ with washing the floor, the association still exists to this day. As soon as the hot soapy water hits the bathroom floor, I’m thinking ‘YAY Bubbles, SWISH!

Thanks to mumzie for having the insight to let this happy association happen

classical conditioning
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2 bits of lovely banter on “classical conditioning”

  1. Bux writes:

    Wendy, don’t let the suds brainwash you….this was child labour, pure and simple. My, what a clever mumsie! Wish I’d thought to do this with my offspring.

    Bx

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  2. Madame DeFarge writes:

    I think that I have the same thing about making scones. Always associate it with having fun with my mum in the kitchen. And getting to eat the biggest and hottest scone straight from the oven. Yum

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