1. Some people believe that “all you are” is determined by the types and amount of neurotransmitters that ooze through your synaptic gaps. Do you think that all of your thoughts, hopes, dreams and aspirations are results of physiological processes; your love, hate, anger and memories are only at the synaptic level? Why or why not?
2. A famous saying goes: We don’t see the world as it is but as we are? Consider the kitten experiments and what you have read about the importance of perceptual schemas to make sense of the data we receive. Is it possible that we all live in illusion, since we don’t see what we see? but only what we interpret? Is reality nothing more than a joint social illusion?
3. Identify one example each of positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, positive punishment, and negative punishment from your own life.
Positive reinforcement is getting something you like so that you’ll do it again. For example, you study a lot for this test and get an A. You’ll probably study a lot for the next test as well.
Negative reinforcement is having something you dislike taken away so that you’ll do it again. For example, you work really hard and your boss tells you you can go home from work early.
Positive punishment is getting something you dislike so that you won’t do it again. For example, you have to make the bed because you were the last one up this morning.
Negative punishment is having something you like taken away so that you won’t do it again. For example, you cannot go out with your friends because you put off writing a paper until the day before it was due.
You must also comment on at least one other student’s posting. Did the poster correctly identify the type of operant conditioning? Remember, be respectful in your answer.
4. Imagine I can grant you your dream vacation, anywhere in the world. BUT (if it’s too good to be true, it probably is)…. You have to choose: You can go on the vacation, but when you come home, you have no memory of it. Or, you can NOT go on the vacation, but I can input memories into your head (imagine such a thing is possible) as if you had gone. Which would you choose? Why?
5. Why do Americans generally have such a negative and fearful approach to aging? Is this a part of our larger fear of death and dying? How might the emotional needs of dying people be better served in your local community?