Monday, April 11, 2005

A few thoughts on Pavlov...

So this one time when I pretended to be really smart, I took a psychology class, hoping it would launch me into a career as the next Dr. Laura. I promptly forgot that dream after the semester ended, but I do remember one thing, and that is Pavlov.

Ivan Pavlov was the guy who coined the term "conditioning" while studying dogs. He rang a bell right before he brought food to his salivating dogs and after a while, it got so he could simply ring the bell and the drool would pool because the dogs were "conditioned" to believe the bell meant dinner.

And then there was this other experiment with rats. A rat in a cage would push a green button and food would come through a tube, if he pushed a red button, he got a nasty electric shock. It didn't take long before the rat would avoid the red button and live on top of the green button where he got fat and lived a happy, pain-free life. This was called “positive reinforcement.” Good results led the rat to continue practicing a specific behavior.

As I stressed my way through last week, these thoughts spent way to much time circling in my brain like so much flotsam and jetsam, taking up valuable room and making me dizzy. But they did get me thinking. It seems an obvious truth that if a student stays on top of his or her work, a fat, happy, and relatively pain-free life will ensue. The very isolated experiences I have had with this have proved it to me. Why is it then that I continue to push the red button? I don't particularly enjoy pulling all-nighters with only Shakespeare and a Thesaurus for company! I am not a masochist!

And yet, the fact remains that the green button is getting lonely and my brains are being scrambled. But then again, how much use can they be anyway if I can't even measure up to a rat? :)

133 comments:

Adriane said...

Meagan, the world trembles at your beauty! In this and all else, you surpass a rat. Times ten! Um...except, you don't have a wormy rat-tail like Rattigan. But I guess that still means you surpass him...I'm glad you don't have a tail!

Meagan said...

Thanks! The last thing I need is another pointy thing negatively affecting my balance...

Adriane said...

They say that tails actually help with balance...unlike those pointy things on those things you wear on your feet! I wonder how many comments we could build up tonight...remember when we talked through our MSN screen names all night long? =)

Meagan said...

Hmm...maybe there's a reason the rats were so smart... and yes, I do remember, it was crazy awesome!!! How are Billy and Nancy doing?

Adriane said...

Oh, I really couldn't say. I haven't spoken to either of them in years. Perhaps with more cream soda I may find them more accessible! Hiccup!

Meagan said...

Alright, I'll find my keys...

Maria said...

dear me. all this time and i thought i was living in close proximity to one of the most outstanding people enrolled at BYU. hmmm. i believe adriane. you may not have the green/red button down yet (who does?!!), but you are definetly an amazing chick

Adriane said...

Wait...a chick? Weren't we discussing Rats?

Meagan said...

Thanks Maria! I believe with this connotation, "chick" DEFINITELY beats out "rat"!

Meagan said...

Billy has you confused, Adriane er Nancy?

Adriane said...

That's it. No more cream soda for you--your seeing triple after only one bottle!

Maria said...

i do not recall any guys wanting to go out with a hot rat

so... yeah?

Meagan said...

hee, hee, hee, I don't even NEED Cream Soda to see triple....

Meagan said...

Maria, true..."birdbrains" are definitely preferred...

Adriane said...

**you're** < cringe >

Maria said...

i really hope so... otherwise there would be no hope for anyone in this apartment

Maria said...

that does include me also

Adriane said...

Well, technically, I can't be more than one at the same time...that would be awesome!...hmm...maybe not.

Meagan said...

Adrian, you're speeling discusts mee!

Meagan said...

Ouch! I guess it's true that the truth hurts...;)

Maria said...

how much sleep did you two get last night?

Meagan said...

Yes you can! You just have to pull a Jimmy Dunnesque move and do them both at once. I think Nancy sings bass...

Meagan said...

hee, hee, hee.... why do you ask, Maria?

Maria said...

who, by the way are nancy and billy? i thought they were your faces, but now i am not so sure...

Maria said...

i should think it quite obvious

Adriane said...

In answer to Maria: None. I tossed and turned all night. I had no cream soda...alas!
In retort to Meagan: No, but she does have a great tenor! I'm sticking my tongue out at you. It seems like the right thing to do at this time...

Maria said...

*obvious as to why i am questioning your lack of sleep

Maria said...

i give you my condolenses (sp?) concerning your lack of sleep... however this is proving rather amusing

Meagan said...

Maria, your query brings up an interesting thought, probably born from severe sleep deprivation (I didn't sleep very well either). Is not this blog proof positive that the red button is being pushed again? This should be a case study in a psychology textbook for self-aware insanity. Adriane could be in two places... (how do you spell schizophrenia?)

Adriane said...

Oh man...when the world wakes up tomorrow, I'm going to have a lot of explaining to do! Dangit! Maria says that we haven't beat the record for comments yet! She's seen a hundred and two! We have a long way to go!

Maria said...

will all parties involved remain annonymous in this study, if not the third party would like to be refered to as Hilda

Maria said...

i am begining to worry greatly for adriane. Meagan, do you think that she will last the night, or will she need assistance?

Adriane said...

May I ask why you worry, Maria dear? Just because I may sway back and forth a little is not a cause for worry! Of course I will last the night! Goodness...besides, what assistance could you provide?

Meagan said...

Reasons why we push the red button:

1. Because it's against the rules (Didn't I tell you not to touch the hot stove?)
2. Because it matches our nail polish. (Green looks like fungus.)
3. Because it's fun and girls just want it (insert appropriate disco ditty here)
4. Because if we didn't, we wouldn't appreciate the lonely green button nearly as much (insert chipmunk-themed R and B bridge here)
5. Because it's shiny (I can't help it, it's so beautiful!)

Maria said...

tear of poignent heartrending sadness

Meagan said...

Maria, could you help me remove the cinder blocks on Adriane's bed? I'm worried about the height...

Adriane said...

And because the green is so much dang harder to push! Especially when hopped up on Cream Soda!

Maria said...

i would hope that you feel that you could trust me in anything, adriane

Maria said...

yes oh yes meagan, i will be there in a sec... i seem to be caught on a webpage with two weird girls...as soon as i can pull away

Maria said...

oh, and Meagan, thanks for explaining why i prefer red over green, i just couldn't sort that one out in my brain... maybe i should take an indepth class of pavlov

Adriane said...

Okay, that's it. I have never, not even once fallen out of bed! And the height is perfect for "leap like a tiger, land like a fox" games. And if I didn't have it that high, I would have no where to hide!

Meagan said...

Hopping, my dear, is for the Easter Bunny. I don't think it's the cream soda, I think you've tripped on reality...

Adriane said...

Well then, you'd best help me up. I think I've stubbed my toe..."Ralphie, I've fallen and I can't get up!" Could you at least help me put my arms down all the way?

Maria said...

adriane, it is better that you do not take that "once" and fall out... it hurts, trust me.

Meagan said...

Yeah right...and those scars on your knee are from a series of "misshaps" during Jr. High...

Adriane said...

Breakdancing...breakdancing!!!

Meagan said...

oh...right...emphasis on the "break" part... Maria, you'd better get in here quick!

Anonymous said...

You girls are so...how shall I put this? Odd might do it. Yes, Odd.

Maria said...

NOTE OF CLARIFICATION
A. Meagan is in her bedroom
B. Adriane is about a foot from her.
C. Maria is in the living room
D. Annie, who is being sane, is sleeping in her bedroom
E. We should be doing our homework
F. Comparitively, this is much more intertaining.

FOR THOSE WHO READ THIS AND ARE MORE THAN SLIGHTLY CONFUSED

Meagan said...

Anony"mouse" nothing. You're a rat if ever I saw one, er.. read one?
Go push a button or something!

Maria said...

ok

Meagan said...

RECLARIFICATION:
1. Annie is still sleeping sanely.
2. I am quasi-sanely typing
3. Adriane has set up camp on her cinder-blocked bed.
4. Maria is mandhandling her off of it.

Meagan said...

Maria, YOU can only push a button if its green.

Adriane said...

5. Adriane is frozen in terror--I like my bed!!!

Maria said...

uh... i meant ok for helping you with those bricks... but if you really want me to push a button, can it be the blue one?

Meagan said...

Oooh, a new development! What does that one do?

Maria said...

A BETTER RECLARIFICATION
i was not manhandling adriane, i was merely doing the prior bidding of meagan and lifting the bed as to be able to get to the cinder blocks... adriane just happened to be on top

Adriane said...

5. Adriane was still frozen in terror, even while crouching on her bed--it was moving!!!

Meagan said...

Was it the bed, or your alchohol-induced hazy vision?

Maria said...

i am not quite sure, but i would rather press it than the already known-no excitement red and green ones

Meagan said...

p.s. those that made 102 comments must have had no life, who has time for that...

Maria said...

my computer is causing havoc in this conversation...

Adriane said...

Hey! No alcohol! Not a drop! I'm high off life (and cream soda) not beer! And yes, I promise it was the bed. Wow...I need my hat. Maria? Can we do that again?

Maria said...

the 102 comments were from at least 90 different people... it was on a blog attributed to the art a father created with his daughter as the focus

Meagan said...

Blue could be the mediocre button. We could call it "Sailing through with 7 'Cs'"... but then again, you probably wouldn't want to push that one...

Maria said...

uh, sure?
but will you promise not to give me the face of terror? i'm still kinda shakey from seeing that one

Adriane said...

Dang, I wish right now that I could laugh like Jonharmon (on a slightly higher pitch--I'm not Nancy at the moment) because this evil villain laugh that is coming out right now just isn't cutting it. Jon, I hope you're laughing!!!

Meagan said...

Oh good, I was under the impression that three crazy people sat at their computers blogging random comments with one hand while the other was firmly affixed to a red button...

Maria said...

"but henry loves blue!"

Adriane said...

Whoah...Henry? I haven't met that one Maria! Will you pull him out sometime?

Meagan said...

I think your laugh is just grate, uh... I mean great ;)

Maria said...

you mean that we aren't affixed to the red button?

Meagan said...

Now you know why BYU gives out so many degrees...."C" is for successful...

Maria said...

sorry meagan, he is married...

Adriane said...

Just as long as you squint your eyes we aren't, Maria. Don't open them all the way. It's more maroon that way.

Maria said...

oh, and he is not the Arabic-boy type of married

Meagan said...

It looks like I'm going to have to break out the study on rationalization...

Maria said...

meagan... i am no longer wondering about her sanity... i do not think that the removing of the cinder blocks will be enough to redeem her

Adriane said...

what does do to the text?

Adriane said...

EXCELLENT!!! AWSHUHLANTAY!!!! that's what "< a >" does!

Meagan said...

You're right. Let's move to Japan and sleep on futons...

Meagan said...

Or Australia... it looks like that's what Adriane's in the mood for...

Maria said...

??i'm lost... and this time i do not think that it is because i am blonde

Adriane said...

I LOVE foutons! Wait...how do you spell them? And do you have to know how to spell them before you can sleep in them? I once tried to buy a bottle of shampoo, and they said that I had to be able to pronounce it before I could buy...Awapuhi. Easier said than done when you've had one cream soda too many!

Adriane said...

Ha ha ha! Easier said than done! Ha ha ha...I slay myself.

Meagan said...

When did you get lost? I will try to redirect you.

Adriane said...

I think it's about 5 hours past my bedtime...ha! About 5...hahahahaha! oh man.

Adriane said...

How small do you think that this scroll bar will be in a little while? Is there a limit to how small they can get? Wow...Nope. I don't even want to find out.

Meagan said...

except i too am lost. did you actually say it? then it would have been easier done than said???

Maria said...

uh, when you and adriane began blogging about futons and moving to austraila (can i come with?)

Adriane said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Meagan said...

yeah, they have low bed there so we'll all be safe!

Adriane said...

Futons are shorter, you see, than my bed is. I believe that is what happened. But Awshulantay is apparently Australian.

Maria said...

oh goodie!

Meagan said...

Well, it's an Australian trying to be Italian. We could kidnap an Aussie and dress him in Armani...

Adriane said...

Is anyone still reading? Are you proud of how small the scroll bar is? Cuz I sure am! Wow...that thing just gets littler and littler. Can we do my blog tomorrow night?

Meagan said...

Sure, I've got another six-pack in my trunk....

Adriane said...

How about a New Zealander? Shouldn't Lincoln be getting back from his mission soon? He would look even hotter in Armani! We would have to figure out a way to kidnap him without having to associate with Mike though...

Meagan said...

Just bring him to BYU!!!

Maria said...

i wont be able to join you tommorrow night... i will be acting as a missionary! i'd hate to miss out

Adriane said...

MEAGAN!!! Six packs are on the list!!! Careful!!!

Meagan said...

Oh... so this is what this feels like.... I'm not sure whether I should break out a chess set or pick up a pair of coke-bottle glasses....

Adriane said...

Oh the shame mingled with pride all at once! How do we handle this?

Maria said...

most assuradely the chess set

Meagan said...

Scrolling...scrolling...scrolling, keep that bar a-scrolling.... I think it might be my bedtime. Otherwise I might bring up alpacas or grapes (gasp, faint, die). Tomorrow I'm going to hire a publicist to do damage control...

nighty night, sleep tight, etc.

Maria said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Adriane said...

Yeah, my headache is threatening to spill over and color my world different colors if I don't stop now. G'night!

Adriane said...

OOOH...that kind of a six pack! Silly me.

Meagan said...

Adriane, why is our entire room a red button?

Meagan said...

Nope... his name is definitely Roderigo!

Maria said...

That previous comment was:

I am certain that six-packs of cream-soda are not on the list unless they fall under "momentary insanity"

A.K.A. this instance

Maria said...

roderigo?

Adriane said...

Um...I dunno...I think my entire WORLD is a red button! Although I should be so remarkably dedicated to scholarism in these final days...I don't understand it.

Meagan said...

Roderigo: the six-pack in my trunk...

Adriane said...

Brings to mind Winona Ryder in a mustache with a spoon for a knife...hmm.

Maria said...

adriane... the saddest thing happened... my side curser is not shrinking anymore...

Meagan said...

I refer to my previous comment on Adriane's previous blog. I love that movie...

Adriane said...

What's it like to have Shakespeare for a companion during all nighters? I imagine that would be pretty spooky...sorry. I'll go to bed now!

Adriane said...

Dang! I wish he helped me with MY papers!

Maria said...

when all the sane people in the world awake in approx. five to seven hours, catastrophes will abound.

Meagan said...

Actually, it's a lot like my singing bard card... I prefer to hit him with a nine-iron... And on that note...good niggit, sleep tigget, don't like the bed bugs biggit....

Adriane said...

Once, I got a card from a friend, entitled, "All the best times seem so stupid the next day." I only hope that the stupidity doesn't turn out to be proportionate to the amount of fun had...otherwise we could be in trouble! Good night!

Meagan said...

I'm sorry but I can't seem to read your comment Adriane. The paper bag on my head is blocking my vision....

Jon said...

Am I wrong, or did you guys spend TWO HOURS last night commenting? Wow . . .

Jon said...

Let me rephrase that: I can't believe you guys spent TWO HOURS commenting lest night!!

Adriane said...

Jonharmon, the important thing is that we reached our goal. The time spent is all worth it...maybe. On the other hand, did you read our comments? How could we stop?

AnneGirl said...

Oh my. Uh, I only love-

Did they mention I was the one sanely sleeping?

AnneGirl said...

Plus I always wanted to know how to spell awshulantay.

Jon said...

I'm afraid I didn't really understand most of your comments.

Meagan said...

maybe you need to try some cream soda... come on, everybody's doing it....

Tiff said...

I heard about the series of comments and had to see for myself. I do have to admit after about #20 I just skimmed the rest.

Buhler said...

I, personally, am impressed, baffled, laughing, and several other emotions. You are all truly oneofakind.

Meagan said...

Robert,

You do realize that by commenting on this blog you are only adding to the insanity... but then again, by responding, so am I...