Brave New World Classical Conditioning Analysis

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Register to read the introduction… Lower caste infants were being conditioned to hate nature and books when they grew up (Huxley 21-22) There was a painful shock (the US) every time they were presented pictures of books or nature (the CS). The infants associated the pain of the shock (the UR), with nature and books. The CR became a painful aversion to nature and books. Similar to hatred, happiness is a result of classical conditioning. This is the reason the students mentioned earlier associated different ideals with happiness. The students had similar unconditioned stimuli that evoked happiness. But they also had different conditioned stimuli to induce the conditioned response.
Brave New World depicts three unhappy gentleman. Bernard Marx, Helmholtz Watson and John all find themselves stuck on various parts of Maslow’s pyramid for varying circumstances. Bernard is unwelcomed by his fellow Alphas for his Epsilon-esque body. Helmholtz feels an ocean of untapped potential being squandered. John finds himself unsatisfied by the instant gratification of “civilization”. All three men are unable to reach happiness while in the same setting. The rest of society achieves happiness quite easily in this setting
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Maslow’s pyramid shows that the natural progression of human’s needs will lead to happiness. Also students of various cultures showed similar concepts of the mental state of happiness. On the other hand, what an individual constitutes as happiness is artificial. The students just mentioned gave different accounts on what life-long happiness consists of. The three unhappy characters of Brave New World were unable to achieve happiness because of their improper conditioning (to suit their environments). Conditioning is the source of an individual’s happiness. It is all relative.

Works Cited
Cherry, Kendra. "Introduction to Classical Conditioning." Psychology., n.d. Web. 01 Apr. 2014. .
Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. New York: HarperPerennial, 1998. Print.
Lu, Luo, and Robin Gilmour. "CULTURE AND CONCEPTIONS OF HAPPINESS: INDIVIDUAL ORIENTED AND SOCIAL ORIENTED SWB." Journal of Happiness Studies 5 (2004): 269-91. National Taiwan University College of Management. Web. 30 Mar. 2014. .
McLeod, Saul. "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs." Simply Psychology. N.p., 2007. Web. 03 Apr. 2014. .
Myers, David G. Psychology. 5th ed. New York: WORTH, 1998.

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