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Individual Learning Paper

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By jeannatethomas
Words 706
Pages 3
Individual Learning Paper
PSY 103
April 28, 2008

As ever changing individuals, there are many learning experiences that

one encounters every day of one’s life. These event s can be good or bad. But the

ultimate goal is to learn from them. I will discuss from a psychological

viewpoint, my personal learning experience with the mistake of giving a minor

permission to drink wine while at home without clear and implemented


I was about 15 years old when my father gave me permission to drink

wine freely in the home. He assumed that he was teaching me the properly way

to consume and enjoy the taste of various wines. My father’s rationing was that

if I learned from an adult instead of another minor this would keep me from

abusing alcohol. Unfortunately that was not the case. Being inexperienced to

the risk of over drinking, I experienced firsthand what being drunk felt like. I

had in the past few months enjoyed the flavor of very chilled wine. My father

would place a bottle in the freezer along with our glasses for about 10 to 20

minutes or so. After the wine and glasses were chilled, my father and I would

partake in the enjoyment.

One particular Friday evening my father did his usual routine with the

wine and glasses, except that he unintentionally left the wine bottle in the

freezer. I went back to get myself another glass full, only to notice that the wine

had froze and the bottle had broken. I then put the iced wine in a large

container and threw out the broken battle. I took the large container in my room

and proceeded to eat the frozen wine ice, which equated to about three fourths of

the bottle. Again, I was totally green to over drinking so I had no sense of fear or

anxiety to what was to take place with me that evening. From a psychological

stand my father had conditioned me with classical conditional principles (i.e.

wine availability unconditioned stimulus, chilled wine glasses conditioned

stimulus, and drinking freely conditioned response).

During the remainder of the evening, I began to feel the effects of the

wine. The major obstacle that occurred in this situation was my selective

perception; I did not know that too much wine can make a person drunk and the

consequences of being drunk. I did not perceive correctly about over drinking

and I had not prior knowledge or comparison because I had never been drunk

before. Needless to say, I began to feel dizzy; my thoughts were bizarre, my

bedroom seemed to sway from left to right, my waterbed felt like a raging ocean

going up then down, nausea set in, and as I staggered to the bathroom, I

eventually vomited at least two or three times. I was sick to my stomach from

this drunken state that I found myself in. I was somewhat fearful and anxious

because I did not know how long it would take my body to get back in order. I

wanted this feeling to be over with.

The next morning which was Saturday, I had awakened with the worst

hangover and was reeking with the smell of wine and vomit. That afternoon our

family was going to a wedding reception where there was more wine and

champagne. I recall seeing a fountain full of bubbling champagne sitting on a

table, as I passed by it the smell made get nauseated all over again and waiting to

just puke. I learned my lesson from that day until this day to never over drink


This learning experience was a very valuable one. Psychologically, not

only did the operant conditions enhance my learning experience because I was

the participant, but the observational learning of seeing what happens mentally

and physically to an individual who is intoxicated. I was that drunken person.

Learning experiences can be positive and negative. Our aim is to learn from

every learning experience that one encounters in life on a daily basis. Hopefully,

these experiences are more positive than they are negative.


Lahey, B. (2007). Psychology: an introduction (9th ed.). New York: McGraw-

Hill. Chapters 4 (p. 114) and 6 (pp.202-205).…...

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