Thursday, February 7, 2013
Let's test your knowledge...... I have a friend who was in a car accident and she was NOT wearing her seatbelt. The experts at the crash said if she would have been wearing her seatbelt she would have been dead. This accident has conditioned her not to wear her seatbelt. She said she can clearly remember how frightened she was after the accident and when the gentleman told her she should thank her guardian angel that she was still alive because she was not wearing her seatbelt she was shocked. She is now 37 and still does not wear her seatbelt. Once in a while she speaks about how she knows percentages demonstrate that she should wear her seatbelt but that her experience outweighs the percentages. I often wonder if and when she has children IF she will start wearing it. What type of conditioning was this?
I believe this is operant conditioning. The friend was reward with life instead of death in the car crash because she did not wear her seatbelt. Since the promise or possibility of rewards causes an increase in behavior, she continually does not wear her seatbelt. Through operant conditioning, an association is made between a behavior, such as not wearing the seatbelt, and a consequence for that behavior, such as not dying in the car cash.