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Personal Life Experience Essay

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The fallowing essay will introduce a personal life experience describing the feelings and emotions experienced when playing piano to an audience in comparison to the piano practice in loneliness. It will then apply the seminal Classical Conditioning Theory and the contemporary Theory of Flow in order to explain the occurrence of these feelings and emotions from a theoretical prospective (Pavlov & Gantt, 1928; Csikszentmihalyi, 1990). The essay will critically analyse the extent to which these theories are accurate in describing the experience and provide supporting evidence. The essay will end will a conclusion summarising the most important arguments provided in the content and consider the implications of these arguments. When I was very…show more content…
Preserving a behaviourist position one might argue that instrumental conditioning plays a significant role. Although slightly less extreme than classical conditioning, operant conditioning supports and challenges at the same time my experience. Skinner, 1948 was the first who put the operant conditioning theory forward, he argued that behaviours tend to stop if a punishment is received in response; on the other hand behaviours are repeated if they are reinforced. According to this view I should have stopped playing piano a while ago because of the punitive nature of the experience. However according to the same view I didn’t stop my actions because I was experiencing a rewarding positive feeling when practicing in loneliness. A behaviourist would call this phenomenon a self-reinforcement and would argue that due to the fact that I had a relatively small number of exams in comparison to the independent practice I was exposed to a larger amount of reinforcing feelings than punishing feelings. Although the behaviouristic position is well contended and supported by relevant research the main issue with this approach is the intentional disregard of the internal, emotional events. One might suggest that because of the nature of my experience it will be more relevant to adopt an approach based on the belief that human beings control their lives. The behaviourists however deny this affirmation and argue that the environment is controlling human
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