Monday, November 18, 2013

Trauma and Classical Learning

John Doe loves riding horses.  Horse riding had been a hobby of his since he was young.  One day he was riding in his pastor when a coyote jumped in front of the horse.  Scared, the horse began galloping at full speed and entered its fifth gate.  After trying to regain control, John realized that he could not stop his horse.  He then decided to abort, but his boot was stuck in the stirrup.  The horse then dragged him threw multiple bushes, rocks, trees, and ended with a barb wired fence.  He broke both his legs, his collarbones, and had multiple gashes throughout his body.  After the event, he was scared to ride any animal.  He found them unstable and believed them to be wild.  He would become scared at the sight of anyone he cared about riding a horse.  After ten tears, he finally got back on a horse and has not been scared to ride since. Although a freak accident, he believed that horse riding was far more dangerous than it is.   John was classically  conditioned to be scared of horses.  It was not a rational fear since he was actually quite skilled at horse riding.  The one random event caused him to associate fear with horse riding.  Horses caused him fear because one time he had fear while being dragged by a horse.


  1. Goebel,
    Your story of horse riding was very traumatic. However, it also relates to classic conditioning because John is conditioned to gaining a fear of horses, known as equinophobia. What most surprises me is that it only took ten tears for John to gain the courage of riding a horse again!

  2. Goebel,
    I am glad that I have not been in a situation like John Doe's! I know I would have been classically conditioned to be afraid to ride a horse too! intact, they already scare me a bit! It is interesting that someone who is very skilled at something can then be classically conditioned to be afraid of it. It reminds me of my days as a spring board diver. For my age, I was actually really good. My issue was that I would get mental blocks after smacking on dive and I would be to psyched to try it again- which ultimately led to me quiting….something I still regret!

  3. As Julia said, I'm glad I'm not John Doe, I would feel the same way. I personally don't like to ride horses or anything of the sort in the first place because of such possible outcomes. I just find it interesting that I could do so and also not be harmed at all but at the same time I could be I classically conditioned myself to not like horses either than...interesting