The podcasts reviewed here are the 18th and 19th episodes in the series of Mind Podcast by Arjen ter Hoeve. In the 18th episode in the series (available here) Hoeve talks about classical conditioning. He takes the audience through the process of classical conditioning explaining terms such as the conditioned stimulus and response, extinction and stimulus generalisation. He gives examples to illustrate these concepts. As I was listening I thought it was interesting to think about the possible clinical significance of this material. The application in treatment of phobic disorders is well established. Similarly there is experimental evidence for a possible role of classical conditioning in depression although many other explanatory models are also used. Expanding upon this it could be speculated that perhaps nidotherapy may be a useful approach for certain disorders if in the process it involves a minimisation of exposure to conditioned stimuli or objects which are associated with stimulus generalisation.
In the 19th episode (available here), Hoeve looks at operant conditioning and modelling. Operant conditioning involves a modification in behaviour with the stimulus following this behaviour. This is in contrast with the classical conditioning discussed in the previous podcast where the stimulus occurs prior to the behaviour. There are various methods for delivering the stimulus as well as a number of observed phenomenon such as extinction that occur. There is a short musical interlude and Hoeve also introduces a section about influential figures in psychology. He then covers modelling or observational learning giving his own examples from the cinema and then commenting on wider culture(s). Hoeve has more relaxing music in the background and provides the listener with further interesting material with both of these episodes providing a broad overview of three well characterised forms of learning.
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