Every individual needs to make a decision. This is a particular fact that is accepted by everyone else and somehow, its relative occurrence posted the need for researchers to understand how the human brain works to specifically mandate a particular decision and release a final condition of thinking with regards a particular matter at hand. Among the two primary ways of thinking that humans get involved with, which shall be discussed herein, are classical conditioning and operant conditioning. These particular procedures of mind conditioning specifically imply on what elements actually impact the human thinking process thus allowing for the release of final decisions.
The classical conditioning is specifically based on the manner by which the mind specifically creates a distinction on when to respond to instinct and when to respond according to the experiences that one has passed through the years. Relatively, there are several instances when the mind decides according to instinct. This happens when the mind chooses to access the unconditioned stimulus. For instance, when a person accidentally places his hand over a hot iron, he immediately takes his hand off to avoid more pain. The said reaction is imposed through instinct. The immediate response of the neurons to pain is basically suggested basing from the physical capacities of the being as they are being directed by the brain accordingly. On the other end, one’s response to treating the pain later on would be based on the manner by which the brain responses to the conditioned stimulus whereas the consideration is based upon the experience of the individual. If he has had some experience of incurring burns before, then he might try to find some remedy that has worked before on particular burns with the same impact on his skin.
The operative way by which both the instinct and experiences of a person work towards the final response of the person specifically notes how the human brains is able to identify what is more important when it comes to the situational consideration that one passes through. This is where the explanation behind operant conditioning comes in. According to BF Skinner, the developer of the research on operant conditioning, the process of classical conditioning is relevant enough in proving why and how the mind utilizes external elements to finally arrive at a final decision. This process of the brain however is more dependent on consequence; which means that a person has to have a sense of knowledge on what is happening to be able to respond to it. The response need not be wise nor right; it just need to be a sense of response to all the matter that are occurring around them.
Notably, it could be likened to how a person specifically would mandate his situation when he is faced with the need to decide on whether or not to go on vacation given that this decision would involve not going back to his work for a couple of weeks. Before actually arriving on a final decision, the person would try to access his experiences, relate them to the elements existing around him and create a connection that would define whether or not what he thinks at present to be viable in relation to the manner by which he sees other external conditions affecting his current and present position in consideration with the situation.
Overall, when it comes to deciding on matters, humans tend to access different elements to come up to a certain final outcome. Notably, it could be understood that through the operant and classical conditioning of the mind, humans are able to distinctively pick what particular aspect of their life would they actually use to arrive at a final condition of thinking to be able to resolve a current issue. No matter what they choose to use, each individual would of course be able to know whether or not their decision is right based on the results, and from such results learn some lessons which begins the whole cycle of mind-directing operations over again.
Dayan, P.; Kakade, S. & Montague, P.R. (2000). Learning and selective attention. Nature Neuroscience, 3, 1218–23.
Skinner, B. F. “Verbal Behavior”, 1957. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts
Jump up ^ Tucker, M., Sigafoos, J., & Bushell, H. (1998). Use of noncontingent reinforcement in the treatment of challenging behavior. Behavior Modification, 22, 529–547.