In psychology, conditioning refers to a behavioral process where a response arises frequently or predictably in a particular environment due to previous reinforcement that is most typically a stimulus or reward. In other words, one may develop conditions as a part of their emotional and cognitive experiences during upbringing. These conditions were taught as a means to provoke a certain desired response.
How does this relate to who people decide to become? Well, substantially. Aside from childhood, people may undergo social conditioning, which usually is not a product of childhood but rather society as we grow into it.
How you perceive the world is significantly affected by your conditioning. The reason for this is a programmed neurological pattern that becomes activated by certain aspects of living.
These patterns can be absorbed from another individual that we feel safe from, such as a parent or guardian. Alternatively, these patterns can come as a result of fear associated with the different sensations of being rewarded.
Your perception is essentially a collection of the associations you have filtered by the lens of how you choose to view the world.
The Way You Are in Relationships
We so often learn how to behave in relationships with others. Our parents and guardians are typically responsible for our first exposure to relationship dynamics. We learn to model their behavior unconsciously when presented with similar situations that we have observed.
If we observe that specific responses in a relationship receive negative feedback, we tend to avoid them. Similarly, if we see that something works positively, we may choose to borrow the logic and act accordingly.
A significant factor in what we fear comes from our own experiences as well as conditioning. Our tendencies to experience fear may not be genetically predetermined but somewhat influenced by the environment. Fear conditioning is recognized in experimentation as it may easily be manipulated.
What You Can Do
Though our conditioning is not exactly our choice, there are ways to improve the way it affects us daily. Understanding and becoming conscious of your conditioning ma take some investigation, and success might be found with the help of a mental healthcare provider. Methods to address conditioning holistically include meditation, mindfulness, and Neurotherapy.
A Note from GR8NESS
It is possible to rewire yourself to respond differently to certain stimuli than you have all of the time before now. Consciousness and cognitive therapy are effective ways to undo or evolve undesired conditioning.