Artwork: ghost

Classical Conditioning

Author: MFP '23-24
As seen in: The Mental Health Issue #

Alright class, today we’re going to cover something called classical conditioning. Can I get a volunteer to come up to the front? Yes, Jacob, come right up. (Rings bell.) Notice the bell, it’s what’s known as the neutral stimulus. Now watch. (Pulls out gun, shoots Jacob in the face.) This is the unconditioned stimulus. Thank you Jacob, you may have a seat.

Can everyone sit back down? I know that lunch is next period but that’s no excuse to get rowdy. (Rings bell. The students look around at each other nervously.) I’ll remind you, this is the neutral stimulus. (Loads gun. The students return to their seats.) Very good.

At the heart of psychology, Pavlov attempted to answer the question of why. Why do we do anything at all? Is there a tiny man controlling our brains from the inside? If so, then why does he do anything? Pavlov proved, in fact, that bells and other sounds completely control our actions at all times.

Brett, can you remind the class what we learned about Stockholm syndrome last week?

“Uhhh. Yes, yes. Stockholm syndrome, sir, is when—”

(Jumps at Brett from across the room, shoots him directly in the heart.) Now class, this part is especially confusing. (Rings bell.) The neutral stimulus is fluid. It is all around you, watching at every moment. The neutral stimulus can strike in a second, and has no knowledge of what you are in this world. Even if it did, it wouldn’t care. (Lunch bell rings.)

Well, that’s it for today. Can someone walk Jacob and Brett down to the nurse on their way to the cafeteria? If she asks, tell her they had an accident on the swings.