1st October

Learned Stimulus and Pavlov’s Theory

by Brenda Poulsen | Posted in Passionate Results   No Comments »

I was reading a psychology book today and it was discussing Learned Stimulus and Pavlov’s Theory. It was explaining how Pavlov determined between a natural reflex and a learned reflex that happens with certain stimulus.

He found out that when a dog receives food, they begin to produce saliva and drool. This is a natural reflex to the stimulus. They are born with this reflex, it is not learned.

He then noticed that the dog would begin salivating just when the cupboard was opened where the dog’s food was stored. Then Pavlov started to ring a bell before he would feed the dog and before long when the dog heard the bell, he would begin to salivate. Both of these were Learned Stimulus.

So I got to thinking about Learned Stimulus in relation to our relationships. I began to think about how a certain stimulus would produce a learned reflex.

Ole and I liked to watch movies. When we would settle in to watch a movie we would always have a wonderful snack to share while we watched the movie. Were we actually hungry? No. But we learned that we created a certain intimacy with sharing this snack and watching the movie. Our learned reflex was one that produced a cosy and loving feeling between us.

Then I stared thinking about why do some things trigger certain responses? These triggers, if they bring on less than desirable responses, why do we hold on to them so tightly? If we have learned responses from Learned Stimulus, can we learn to have a different response if the one we have is not so desirable?

For example, I have a thing about people chewing with their mouths open. That is a learned response to a Learned Stimulus. When someone would chew with their mouth open, I could not enjoy myself and I would get angrier by the second. All I could focus on was that chomping, clicking, smacking noise. Drove me crazy! But I have learned to let that go. It doesn’t serve me in any way to hold on to that.

So what triggers you? What Learned Stimulus activates your learned reflex response?

Think about your own relationship. If you walked into the bathroom and the top was off the toothpaste and the toilet seat was up. This could trigger anger, frustration, disappointment as well as other feelings. And yet, for the next person, it might not trigger anything at all.

When your partner spends money, do you get anxious? Or when your lover looks at another woman or man, do you get jealous? Or you don’t get the attention you want from your sweetheart, do you begin to feel a little uneasy and nervous? Are these also Learned Stimulus responses because of a past occurance or patterns in our lives?

We are subjected to thousands of Learned Stimulus every day. Don’t you think that the sexy advertising for a product triggers the desire of need in yourself? Like with cigarettes or the sexy girl in the fabulous jeans. Don’t you want that feeling for yourself?

Don’t you think that when you see a commercial of people sitting in a cosy restaurant eating and ejoying themselves with happy music playing that you want to experience that also?

Don’t you think when we see how many times on TV, the movies and countless other places how easy it is to cheat on your wife or husband that there isn’t a seed of desire to try that?

A Learned Stimulus response is not always a happy or healthy thing. Smoking, drinking, over eating, cheating, gambling and the list goes on. But each and every day we are influenced from this type of Learned Stimulus.

All I am saying is that we have our natural reflexes that produce love, joy and smiles. If you look at the sunrise, if you look at a dog playing in the grass, if you look at a little child learning to walk, your natural reflex is to smile. It is the learned reflex from the Learned Stimulus that would make you frown looking at those same pictures.

We all have our own experiences in life and no two lives are the same. We all determine what is wonderful and what is awful for ourselves. You might love broccoli and your husband thinks it is a nasty food to say the least. BUT he could LEARN to change how he feels about eating it.

Determine what your Learned Stimulus is. Decide if you are producing desired reflexes from this stimulus or not. If not, then you have work to do. Make a decision to free yourself from the bondage of undersirable reflexes from Learned Stimulus. Then you can start having not only the life you want to live but the kind of relationships you want to have.

Passionate regards….Brenda

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