Instrumental Conditioning

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Classical and Instrumental Conditioning Classical conditioning happens quite often in everyday life in both small and significant ways, and sometimes without us noticing. One way it has affected me recently in a negative way happened since I have been living on or near campus at VCU. The fastest way to get to most of my classes from where I have lived the past two years is to cut through Monroe Park. However, there are usually many homeless people in the park during the day and I have to pass by them when I go through the park. Generally when I see homeless people, I get a feeling of guilt for being more fortunate, riding on my nice bike coming from my apartment, and yet unable to help them. After a while, I noticed that just being in or…show more content…
Getting good grades in school, especially on major tests and papers, was positively reinforced with a variety of rewards. In school, I enjoyed the praise and attention from teachers that resulted from performing well. At home, my parents rewarded me with praise and extra privileges like being able to stay up late on weekends, getting more time on the computer, being allowed to spend more time with friends, etc. On the other hand, when I got bad grades, the rewards were omitted with the withdrawal of praise from my parents and teachers, and having many of my privileges restricted until my grades improved. This system, along with an intrinsic motivation to do well, has always encouraged me to do my best in school and do whatever I could to learn more and keep my grades high, resulting in me being a better student, learning more study skills, and getting higher grades than I might have otherwise. I have noticed, however, that the conditioning was more effective before college. Now that I am living away from my parents and do not know many of my professors personally, I do not have the immediate day-to-day rewards or punishments. The effects persisted strongly in my first few months of college, but then slowly declined. I still work hard and get good grades, but there is less of a motivation to study constantly and I often find myself not using my free time as efficiently as I would have at home. Although some of the behavioral effects of the instrumental conditioning have persisted, I now have to rely more on intrinsic motivation and the habits formed during the conditioning instead of the constant reward/punishment system employed by teachers and

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