I had an experience a few years ago with long john cream‑filled doughnuts. After eating a couple of these I spent the entire day getting them back out of my system. Ever since that day even the smell of those doughnuts has made my stomach churn.
I plan to relate this experience to the course content of taste aversion. I feel I have been conditioned to have this intense dislike of long john cream‑filled doughnuts.
Description ‑ When I was around eight years old my parents and I went grocery shopping at Reid's grocery store. There I purchased what my family refers to as long john doughnuts. These are the long skinny doughnuts that are filled with cream. These particular ones were topped with chocolate and filled with Bavarian cream. We finished our shopping and returned home where I devoured my doughnut. I enjoyed this treat very much, that is until I started to feel nauseated. I proceeded to spend the rest of the day rushing to the bathroom. The next time I went into the bakery and even smelled the doughnuts my stomach churned. I haven't been able to eat Bavarian cream filled doughnuts ever since then. Even the mere thought of those doughnuts or anything that resembles their taste nauseates me. I feel I now have an intense dislike for this food through conditioning. More specifically, that I have developed taste aversion for Bavarian cream‑filled doughnuts through classical conditioning.
Relationship ‑ I feel that this experience clarifies the course material in chapter 6: Learning on classical conditioning and taste aversion. I have been conditioned to have an intense dislike for Bavarian cream. In this particular case the unconditioned stimulus would be the Bavarian cream filled long john doughnut. The unconditioned response would be the sickness I experienced after eating the doughnut. The smell and sight of these doughnuts, especially in the Reid's bakery would be labeled as the conditioned stimulus and conditioned response would be the nausea that I experience from the smell and sight of these types of doughnuts.
This experience helps support other facts concerning classical conditioning presented in the text. It used to be thought that classical conditioning required a short time period between the conditioned stimulus and unconditioned stimulus, however it has been shown that this is not necessary. In my example, I did not need to eat the doughnut and then immediately get sick to learn this response. It was a few hours before the response to the taste of the doughnut occurred. Also I have benefited from stimulus discrimination, the differentiation between similar stimuli, for I do not avoid all doughnuts. I love the ones with sprinkles and I often take advantage of the new Tim Hoxtons in Allegany. The cause of classical conditioning is also discussed in the text. Under this topic contiguity is mentioned as a previously excepted explanation of classical conditioning. I, however, did not need contiguity to learn this response. Contiguity says that the closer the conditioned stimulus and unconditioned stimulus occur in time the quicker the learning of the response. In my case the conditioned stimulus and the taste of the unconditioned stimulus occurred with a several hour time span in between them and I learned this response rather quickly (the first time).
The evaluation of this experience has helped to clear up the course material on taste aversion and classical conditioning. It has aided me in recognizing which stimulus is which and which response is which, as I was still slightly confused when I began this paper. Also I have learned more of the recent developments in this area by relating them to my own experience.