discussion in strategies for behaviour change class

Friday, January 25, 2008 - Posted by Amanda Bast
Maureen (teacher): "blah blah blah, I can't teach. Stimulus and response are co-dependent. You can't have one without the other. I'm a horrible teacher."

Laura: "So, what if you poke a paralyzed guy in the leg, and he doesn't see you do it? Poking him is the stimulus, but what is the response?"

Britt: "The response is that there is no response."

Laura: "No response isn't a response. Doing nothing is not responding to a stimulus."

Maureen: "But you're talking about a physical response only."

Tasha (this was not said in a joking manner): "But the paralyzed guy could have an emotional response to the stimulus. Like, he might feel sad that you poked him and he can't feel it."

Rachel: "NO, he didn't see you poking him. He didn't know it happened."

Girl behind me: "You said earlier that a stimulus is something that impinges on the senses. If the paralyzed guy couldn't see or feel the poke, then it wasn't a stimulus."

entire class: "OoooOOOoOoooooOOoooh!!!!!!"

another girl: "So poking the paralyzed guy isn't a stimulus?"

Girl behind me: "Not in this case."

Maureen: "But would it be a stimulus for someone else?"

Britt: "Yes, if they could feel it."

Maureen: "So it would depend on the context?"

Another girl: "Yes."

Maureen: "So making meaning depends on the context."

me (to Mel): "It took Maureen three classes to try and teach this concept, and it was summed up and clarified by poking a paralyzed guy."