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17 April, 18:20

Emily naturally blinks whenever her sister pretends she's going to poke her in the eye. Her sister, a psychology major, then decides to have a little fun. She pairs the word "psychology" (conditioned stimulus) with pretending to poke Emily in the eye (unconditioned stimulus). Soon, Emily blinks as soon as she hears the word "psychology." According to the concept of blocking, what would happen in this scenario if Emily's sister also started snapping her fingers when she said the word psychology?

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  1. 17 April, 19:36
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    The "snapping" of her fingers will have no effect or response in the scenario.

    Explanation:

    The situation above is related to the concept of "blocking" when it comes to Psychology. According to the "blocking effect," conditioning to a particular stimulus will only be blocked if that stimulus was reinforced in alignment with a conditioned stimulus before.

    So, in the situation above, the snapping of fingers refers to another unconditioned stimulus. Its conditioning was blocked because it was reinforced in compound with the previously conditioned stimulus. This time, the previously unconditioned stimulus (poking of Emily's eye) becomes a conditioned stimulus. This is, primarily, because Emily has already gotten the association of the stimuli involved, so she no longer responded in the same manner or it had no more effect on her when her sister mentioned the word "Psychology."
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