Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Conditioning Yourself

The premise is that all forms of behavior can be molded through conditioning.

Let's start with the basics.

Conditioning requires response and reinforcement.

Reinforcement is either negative or positive,
Meaning that it causes the responses of desire or aversion.
Negative reinforcement reduces the frequency or the strength of a behavior.
Positive reinforcement increases the frequency or the strength of a behavior.

This is generally, as the intensity of a positive/negative response may not increase/decrease behavior.
As in the case of eating something rare, that is pleasing to the senses, as in watermelon that is not frequently eaten. Christmas gifts are also a good example, as people fall into the cultural trend of not giving without being triggered by a specific date. Its a matter of gifts being traded, which usually doesn't happen without a mutual intention to do so. Mutual gift trading or giving is more desirable than simply giving without getting anything but positive emotion back.

Conditioning yourself is what takes place in religion, but many people are not aware of commonsense psychology, and so remain unaware of their own behavior determinism. As an example having an all loving and caring being watching and mediating your life, being a continuous positive reinforcement that can come from anything associated with stimulation, i.e. religious community, scripture reading, or indoctrination.

Now that we understand the basics, lets move into how you condition yourself.

First is intention:
1. Positive intention is "I will do". The more positive an intention of x, the more it is being reinforced, and the more likely the behavior is to change. The converse is true of the negative, in the logic of "I will not do."
2. Positive/negative reinforcement/ends. Let's use two examples: A) A child receives high grades in school. Whenever he does he is rewarded with something that pleases him; as in his parents buying ice cream, or a toy he wants. To make a quick point this is the best thing about being parent, as a parent has more control and can condition a child better than most can condition themselves at an older age. Next example B) When ever John smokes he burns himself afterward. This burning is an aversive stimulus because it causes pain.

One problem of conditioning that arises is wanting to create aversion to ends, without wanting to feel the negative reinforcement. You have to want to be aversive in order to create an aversive end.

As a law, the strength of aversion is based on intensity and duration of pain or harm, the strength of desire is based on pleasure achieved by an end.

How then does one condition themselves precisely? Simple, by creating a positive or negative end, and than doing a behavior with its effects being that end. Example: You will eat ice-cream but only if you do a particular behavior.

Most self-conditioning starts with an idea or an intention, and than becomes reality or a condition based on the reinforcement.

Now the next question is what should be conditioned? Well its optional, but rationally, what should be conditioned is productive behavior, self-interested behavior, and if you have the surplus investment in a continuously productive behaviors of others, or in some cases simple charity when you have the resources. What should be negatively reinforced, eliminated behavior, is any behavior which increases the chance of your death or decreases your condition of living.

Therefore, I have presented here a method to Condition/Change of behavior based on a rational moral standard.  

Learning what behaviors can be conditioned or eliminated is a matter of exercising these factors.

If you have any questions please leave them in the field below.

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