Saturday, December 21, 2013

Learning - Classical Conditioning

In the last byte, we began our discussion on learning. In today's byte we look at Classical conditioning.

Before we could begin with, let’s have a look at the following diagram: which pretty much explains the famous experiment that was associated with this theory.

The diagram here is the summary of the experiment where the behavior of a dog was changed! In summary classical conditioning deals with the modification of behavior so that a conditioned stimulus is paired with an unconditional stimulus and elicits an unconditional response.

Taken to the real world today, it is quite possible that an individual working for long hours in front of a computer may get lower back strain as a result of poor posture, If the person becomes aware of the strain only when the manager enters the work space, then the person may develop a conditional response of lower back pain on appearance of the manager!

The question one would also need to ask - is it so straight forward? No, for the following reasons:
  1. Humans are more complex
  2. Organizational environment are complex too!
  3. There is a phase of decision making that overrides simple conditioning.

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