Monday, August 10, 2009

Down the Road

Today, finally, I'll be discussing the Solomon-Corbit model I learned from my Conditioning & Learning class. More specifically, I'll talk about how it relates to the foods you eat and exercising. This will be lengthy and sound confusing at first, but keep reading and you won't have any trouble at all when you're through with this post.

First, let's take a look at the two graphs we'll be using, define what everything means, and go over the areas of relevance. Click both to enlarge them and give a quick glance.

What's all this mean?
  1. US stands for unconditioned stimulus, meaning item you're interacting with
  2. Zero/0 is neutral feeling, basically, no interaction
  3. Plus/+ is the first set of feelings felt with from the US
  4. Minus/- is the after effects of plus/+
  5. A is the magnitude of feelings elicited by interaction with the US
  6. B is the magnitude of feelings elicited by the interaction with the US after it's done
Yes, I know, sounds like "blah blah blah." Just keep #'s 1, 5, & 6 in mind.

Now, what's the importance of each graph? Well, as you can see, the first one says "first experience" and the second graph is labeled "hundredth experience." We also can see that,

A1 area > A100 area

and the opposite is true for B.

B100 area > B1 area

Good so far? If not, take another look at the graphs and read what I said about the areas again.

What is the significance of all this? It makes no sense whatsoever, but that's why we give examples.

You try soda for the first time (the
first experience), and boy is it tasty. That first sip is good. You drink the entire glass, which of course, takes several sips. Notice in the first graph, your initial taste correlates with A1. It goes upward, but only to a certain extent. Also, every subsequent sip doesn't cause you to enjoy it as much as the first. The pleasure derived trickles downward, and eventually ends, meaning the soda has been finished.

B1 indicates wanting more soda, but unfortunately, you don't and it isn't a big deal. Some times passes, you forget all about the soda after a while and you could care less if you had more.

Say, in the next 2 months or so, you have had another 98 glasses of soda, making a grand total of 99. What does the graph look like when you're drinking that 100th glass of soda.

Examine the second graph again, the hundredth experience. A100 is noticeably smaller, while B100 has grown.

Drinking that glass of soda isn't nearly as satisfying as that initial sip. Gratification & pleasure is much lower, while the after effects are high. The craving for soda is intense now, and you want more. It bothers you that you don't have any to drink despite going through the same amount you had the first time. The desire for it lasts longer and is strong.

Clearer now? No? Another example? Sure buddy!

You get a new job and decide to eat fast food for lunch since it's close & cheap. You get a sandwich, a mighty tasty sandwich you note. Loaded with mayo and fried, but who cares, you're still new at work and trying to learn.

Fast forward to your 100th sandwich. Despite knowing about other options nearby, you still eat that sandwich, but it's not as great. You don't even know why you eat it, ack! You head back to work, but all you can think about is eating that sandwich again. But why? It doesn't even taste too great anymore. You have created an addiction, oh no!

But, this doesn't graph always mean doom and gloom. "Hm" you say? Yep, another example, 2 of them to be precise.

Enter weight lifting. Everyone who's performed any type of strength training knows how much effort that first session takes (A1). But, you somewhat enjoyed (B1) being active .

100th time in the gym. You get through the workout much easier (A100) than your very first time in the gym. Heck, now you actually look forward to your next exercising session (B100).

What about changing your diet? No fried foods, plenty of vegetables, fruits, water, and just wholesome foods that will do your body good. That first day is difficult (A1), but you get through. On the bright side, didn't daydream about (B1) junk food as much as you thought.

100 days of this new eating style. You get through the day easily (A100) and you don't even think about junk food (B100). Congratulations you sexy beast!

All clear now? Was it worth the read? I hope so.

So, all in all, I just wanted to share something I thought was neat from class which could be applied to anyone's diet and training.

When you make a new choice, think about whether or not there will be a 100th experience and how it will really affect you. Is it going to be good? bad?

Think down the road, is it worth it?

And feel free to ask questions if there's something you're curious about or still don't understand.

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