<p>The prompt is "what work of math, science, art, music, or literature has unsettled, surprised, or challenged you and in what way?" i'm scared im going off topic but i'm trying to tell a story too</p>
<p>You must stop breastfeeding, youre almost five Asma! shouted my mom almost eight years ago. Asma, my little sister who is almost 13 now, did not stop breastfeeding until the age of five. My mother was worried at the time because most children stop breastfeeding at around the age of one or two and had heard about negative side effects of breastfeeding for too long. After Asma had reached the age of five, my mother knew that she had to do something about it because it not seem right and she was pregnant worrying that the new baby would feel neglected if she was breastfeeding Asma at the same time.
My mother called my aunt Igbal, a mother of four at the time, for advice. Igbal had heard of putting sour cream on the breast area so once the child tastes the sour cream, it will be turned away from the idea of breastfeeding. My aunts logic was that the child would automatically associate breastfeeding with the unpleasant taste of sour cream. My mother tried it, and although it took a few tries, it remarkably worked. Asma no longer was breastfeeding, and my mother could joyously breast feed her expecting child. At the time, I didnt think much of what my aunt and mother did, but after taking psychology it all made sense to me.
Psychology is my passion. I hope to become either a psychologist and earn a PhD or a psychiatrist and earn a M.D. Im particularly intrigued with the concept of classical conditioning and now see that my aunt utilized classical conditioning on my sister Asma. Classical conditioning, first demonstrated by Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov, is a learning process that occurs through associations between an environmental stimulus and a naturally occurring stimulus. There are four concepts in classical conditioning: the unconditioned stimulus, the unconditioned response, the conditioned stimulus, and the conditioned response.
The unconditioned stimulus, my mothers breast in this case, is a stimulant that naturally warrants a response. An unconditioned response is the response that comes naturally due to the unconditioned stimulus, which is my sisters desire to breast feed when she sees the breasts. The conditioned stimulus, the sour scream, is a previously neutral stimulus when paired with the unconditioned stimulus begins to trigger a conditioned response. Sour cream, although is completely unrelated to breast feeding, was used as a method to elicit negative connotations with breastfeeding for Asma. Whenever she saw sour cream, she knew it meant the breastfeeding taste would be bad and would be swayed from it.
The whole concept of classical conditioning has led me to ponder human behavior in a new insightful way. If almost like animals we can be trained to act in certain ways, what does that say about our brain capabilities? Im questioning whether it is society that has taught us as little kids that the dark is scary or whether as little kids we learned it ourselves. Through conditioning kids to associate the dark with negative connotations such as the boogie-man and bloody Mary, it is natural that the dark is going to be disliked. Its interesting to note the affect that our environment has on our actions.</p>