OK, lets see how this goes down…it sort of turned into a mini essay....hope that doesn't put anyone off.
Classical conditioning is a simple behavioural model for predicting and explaining behaviour of any organism with a nervous system. It has a simple premise that:
1: Any environment can contain things that
a) make you feel good (positive stimuli)
b) make you feel bad (negative stimuli)
c) make you feel neither good or bad (neutral stimuli)
2: You don’t have to learn that some things are good or bad, they just are. For example, I don’t have to learn to like the taste of ice cream, either I like it OR I don’t. This is what is called an UNCONDITIONED STIMULUS (US) and the response is called an UNCONDITIONED RESPONSE (UR).
3: It is possible to learn to connect something, which is neutral (such as a ringing bell of an ice cream van) with an unconditioned stimulus (such as ice cream). This means you’ll respond emotionally to the bell AS IF you were eating ice cream. This is called a CONDITIONED RESPONSE (CR). The bell is described as a conditioned stimulus (CS).
4: However, normally you’ll associate a lot of stimuli with a conditioned response. So for example, ice cream might remind you of things such as sand, sunshine, sea, playing in the park, a holiday romance, etc, etc. This is called higher order conditioning
5: With time the response to a US or CS can wane. In layman’s terms this means you’ve got bored of something. The technical term for this is called DESENSITISATION.
6: There is a complex cellular basis to classical conditioning called ‘Long Term Potentiation’ (LTP). Interestingly, when this is blocked, so is any conditioned learning.
How does this relate to irrational functions?
A: The difference between extraverted sensation (Se) and extraverted intuition (Ne) is the rate at which desensitisation occurs. For example:
‘Sensation has a preferential objective determination, and those objects which release the strongest sensation are decisive for the individual's psychology’.
Or in behavioural terms, the individual is focused on positive unconditioned stimuli.
‘As a function its sole criterion of value is the strength of the sensation as conditioned by its objective qualities’
The more rewarding the stimulus the better.
This contrasts with intuition:
‘He seizes hold of new objects and new ways with eager intensity, sometimes with extraordinary enthusiasm, only to abandon them cold-bloodedly, without regard and apparently without remembrance.’
Like Se, Ne is mainly concerned with positive unconditioned stimuli (US) however, Ne desensitises very rapidly going from one US to another.
B: The difference between introversion and extraversion is the EXTENT of conditioned learning that occurs:
‘ no sort of proportional relation exists between object and sensation, but something that is apparently quite irregular and arbitrary judging from without, therefore, it is practically impossible to foretell what will make an impression and what will not'
There is no outward connection between stimulus and response because a seemingly innocuous CS could be coupled with a very strong US causing a very strong CR.
Likewise direct exposure to a slightly weaker US won’t cause a very big response because it doesn’t seem as interesting.
More introversion = More conditioned learning.
C: Ni = More conditioned learning, rapid desensitisation
‘the introverted intuitive moves from image to image, chasing after every possibility in the teeming womb of the unconscious, without establishing any connection between the phenomenon and himself’
Any given US will result in alot of complex CRs but these responses desensitise too rapidly to develop a coherent view, which can sometimes be very bewildering
Interestingly, Ni seems to describe autistic symptoms fairly well. As heavily autistic people don’t usually like strong stimuli and can get very confused in social situations.
Anyway…I think that’s more than enough for one post!!!