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This personal application assignment is twofold. 


1) Give an example of how you have personally experienced sensory adaptation.  First, define sensory adaptation. Next, explain how/why it is useful to human beings. Lastly, provide a personal example, from your own experience, of sensory adaptation (30 points)


2) Choose one – operant conditioning or classical conditioning.

Define the concept, identifying all elements of the concept.  Discuss how it is useful to learning. Give an example of how you have personally experienced either classical conditioning or operant conditioning – provide a detailed personal scenario. (30 points)



  • define concept (10 points)
  • explain it’s usefulness (5 points)
  • personal example (10 points)
  • development of the idea and grammar (5 points)


Sensory adaptation

Sensory adaptation is the reduction in sensitivity to a stimulus as a result ofcontinuous exposure to it. Our senses keep adjusting to what surrounds us and what we experience on our day to day life (Webster, M. A, 2012). Sensory adaption helps us to reduce our responsiveness to attend to other stimuli in the environment around us. If sensory adaptation was not experienced we would find ourselves overcome by a particular stimulus. Constant exposure to a sensory stimulus decreases our sensitivity to it and this makes it possible for our senses to shift our attention to different things around us instead of focusing on one stimulus. An example of sensory adaptation is the smell adaptation (Webster, M. A,2012). A friend of mine wears a certain fragrance that can be smelled from a distance but he is used to it and the scent does not overwhelm him. It only overwhelms those close to him but after some time one forgets about it.

Classical conditioning

Classical conditioning involves learning a new behavior through the process of association. That is, two stimuli are linked together to produce a new learned response in a person or animal. It’s whereby a conditioned stimulus becomes associated with an unrelated unconditioned stimulus to produce a behavioral response known as a conditioned response (King, L, 2010). The unconditioned stimulus is usually a biologically important stimulus that produces an unconditioned response from the start. The conditioned stimulus is usually neutral and produces no particular response in the beginning but after conditioning it elicits the conditioned response.

Classical conditioning is used to study other complex behaviors and also helps us learn about the world around us. Since classical conditioning happens in our lives, its effects on behaviors have significant insinuations for understanding ordinary and disorderedconduct in humans.An example of classical conditioning from my own experience is the fire alarm (King, L, 2010).  The building we were living in caught fire in one of the houses because of a gas leak. The fire alarm went on and on hearing it those of us in the building ran out of the houses for safety. An emergency such as a fire brings fear and the first response is to get away from the danger. 


McSweeney, F. K., & Murphy, E. S. (2009). Sensitization and habituation regulate reinforcer effectiveness. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory92(2), 189-198.

King, L. (2010). The science of psychology: An appreciative view. McGraw Hill Professional.


Webster, M. A. (2012). Evolving concepts of sensory adaptation.F1000 Biol. Rep4(21).

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