Blog 4: Behaviorism

4 Commentsby   |  04.02.13  |  Student Posts

Classical Conditioning as told by Frasier Crane

In this video clip from an episode of Frasier, Dr. Frasier Crane explains to Roz the prank that he is going to play on Bulldog in order to achieve revenge from a prank that Bulldog had played on Frasier. He shows Roz the diagram of his plan that involves classically conditioning Bulldog to feel an inexplicable sense of loss when he sees a red balloon attached to the antennae on his car. Although Frasier has an elaborate plan of how he will find revenge, Bulldog has no idea of Frasier’s preparation.

Before we talked about behaviorism in class, I did not really have any feelings toward this school of thought. But I really liked that there was evidence that it worked. The success rate is so high that parents use it when potty training their children. I found the video we watched in class about the Los Horcones community interesting. I appreciate the idea of living in an intentional community, but I think living in a community that regards itself as a “cultural laboratory” would be a different experience. When we solve problems every day, we are essentially experimenting to find what will work best, but I don’t necessarily have the mindset of an experimenter when I am solving a problem. I would love to be a fly on the wall in this community to see how it really works day-to-day.


  1. Meghan Lawrence
    11:34 pm, 04.02.13

    I really loved that you not only used examples from the media but also from our daily lives. Its true that behaviorism leads to results and that it is the easiest school of thought for anyone to use on a daily basis which is what makes it so interesting.

  2. Raymond Lowe
    9:18 am, 04.03.13

    Behaviorism has been proven to be an effective method involving classical conditioning. Examples of potty training, making a pigeon do a full circle, creating a fear that did not exist, and yes, even pulling pranks, are just a few of the ways this method can be utilized. I like your example, and when I saw it I thought of Little Albert and the White Rat/Rabbit.

  3. Ana Rodriguez
    11:53 am, 04.03.13

    I agree with everyone. Basing my comment on your last couple of sentences, I was thinking about what we could do in our daily lives to experiment this theory on our (like Sheldon did with Penny). Could we train our boyfriends to be more attentive? Could we train our parents to let us stay out late? Just a thought! I liked your example of Fraiser. I think that the media might put this type of behavior in a positive light which it can be in many cases (teaching your kids how to behave correctly), but it can also turn around and do the opposite. Abusive relationships can be reinforced in a behaviorist model. That is scary.

  4. Justin Dugger
    5:44 pm, 04.03.13

    I agree with the fact that the results of behaviorism is the most important aspect of the theory. At least in treatment it seems like there is more proof that this works than any other school we have discussed. Between operant and classical training it seems we can train all animals and most aspects of human behavior. This is a scary thought if you think about some people who could use this in a negative way to increase a negative behavior in someone.

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