Monday, March 29, 2010

Pavlovian Response

As most of you know my main method of getting the child to do anything, ie clean her room, is by removing the internet cable, and it is quite often removed on a Sunday afternoon while I wait for the room clean to be done.

Yesterday, Sunday, after I chauffeured child back from a friends I was called in to work. I spent an hour or so there then went off to visit the tomato and organic potato growers for a wee catch up. While I was enjoying the Pinot Gris child texted to say she was hungry and had cooked dinner for herself. As I didn't have to race home and cook dinner I then stayed chatting a while longer.

When I finally got home I had been out for about 3.5 hours. As I walked in the first thing the child said to me was "can you please put the cable back in". I responded by telling her "it wasn't out!"

She then cast her eyes down to the port in the wall by her foot and said "don't say anything!" I of course couldn't as I was using all my energy to hold in the hysterical laughter, dancing, and also doing the universal arm signal that is accompanied by the word YUSS!!

During the day I had moved my laptop into the dining room and plugged into the port next to her computer and my cable was still plugged in there. The child had therefore walked over the large 20 metre coil of white power cable, and then walked over the 30 metre coil of adsl cable that also snaked across the floor to the port by her chair, and at no point looked to see if it was plugged in.

While I was gleefully pondering this I suddenly thought "bedroom" and raced upstairs.  Yes, it was another round of laughter and YUSS as the bedroom had been cleaned.

I have been chortling all day over this as it's a perfect example of Pavlovian conditioning, and teenagers are not immune!


Sapient said...

Pavlovian conditioning? Not so much. Classical conditioning (Pavlov) is where a new stimulas comes to elicit a response not previously paired with it through becoming associated with a stimulas to which that response was paired. (A-B to C-B)

What you are seeing here is Operant conditioning (Skinner), where the behaviour of the subject is reinforced/punished by the presentation or withdrawal of a stimulas for the behavour they emit in response to another stimulas.

Big difference.

Just to be anal.

unPC lesbian said...

oooOOOOooo we like anal!!! [runs off to research Operant conditioning]

The only thing tho is Pavlov is such a foregin sounding name, and sonds waaaay cooler than Skinner. And I will admit that Pavlov only came to mind as I'd recently been listening to some old Pavlovs Dog tunes. Ooooh, more research, is there a band out there called Skinners Operants?

Sapient said...

True, it lacks the foreign appeal. But, then again, there is nothing wrong with a little skin.

As to the band, not that I can find. Though 'The Skinner Box' could work. Potentially. As could 'Positive Punishment'.

unPC lesbian said...

Positive Punishment, that sounds like it could be the name for a hot S & M party!

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