Classical Conditioning Examples in Everyday Life Explained
Classical conditioning is a powerful learning process that can be used to make everyday experiences more pleasant or comfortable. This process works by associating a pleasant stimulus (the conditioned stimulus, or CS) with a desired outcome (the unconditioned stimulus, or US). When the CS is presented, the brain forms a link between the two, which can then be used to trigger the desired outcome in the future.
One of the most common applications of classical conditioning is in the way we learn to associate specific smells with happy memories. When we were little, our parents would often cook dinner and let the smell of their cooking fill the house. After a while, we started to associate the smell of dinner with pleasant memories of our family. If we were to smell the dinner smell without seeing our family, we would be reminded of how much we missed them and would feel unhappy.
Classical conditioning can also be used to make the uncomfortable more comfortable. For example, if you’re feeling sick, you might want to go to your sick room and smell the sick room smell. The smell of sickness is often associated with feeling better, and so by associating the smell of sickness with a positive experience (going to the sick room), you can make the experience more comfortable.