changingminds.org

How we change what others think, feel, believe and do

| Menu | Quick | Books | Share | Search | Settings |

Sensitization

 

Techniques Conditioning > Sensitization

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Sensitization is the process of a subject becoming very sensitive to a stimulus such that it builds an amplified response to the stimulus. During sensitization, the action may be completed increasingly faster and in a more exaggerated way.

Sensitization happens when a stimulus is repeated frequently. It can also be caused by anticipation of a particularly pleasurable or feared event.

Example

A dog likes going for a walk. The owner only has to pick up a coat for the dog to start frantically dancing and barking.

After being 'nagged' by his mother, a teenager develops a pattern of angry outbursts. This in turn winds up his mother and they have regular acrimonious arguments about relatively minor incidents.

Discussion

In the brain, repeated thoughts and actions train sequences of neuron firing, thereby embedding these so they are more and more easily accessed. This is a common way in which learning occurs.

The amplified response of a sensitized subject may in turn sensitize others. This can be lead to escalation and argument as both fall into a sensitized, reactive state.

In some ways, sensitization is the opposite of response lag, where a subject is slow to respond with the desired reaction.

Sensitization can often be a startle response and is often associated with anxiety. As the stimulus is constantly repeated and the subject obeys, it is as if they are saying 'Look, I'm doing it! What more do you want??' This may be based around a control issue, where the subject feels they are stuck and unable to escape an endless round of repetition. Perhaps unsurprisingly, repetition is also associated with dysfunctional states such as obsessive-compulsive disorder. Sensitization can also happen as a result of trauma.

Cross-sensitization occurs where other stimuli become 'infected' such that they also lead to the sensitized response.

Desensitization happens as a subject becomes accustomized to a stimulus and consequently response less to it as the reinforcing effect

See also

Amplification principle, Repetition principle, Using repetition

 

Site Menu

| Home | Top | Quick Links | Settings |

Main sections: | Disciplines | Techniques | Principles | Explanations | Theories |

Other sections: | Blog! | Quotes | Guest articles | Analysis | Books | Help |

More pages: | Contact | Caveat | About | Students | Webmasters | Awards | Guestbook | Feedback | Sitemap | Changes |

Settings: | Computer layout | Mobile layout | Small font | Medium font | Large font | Translate |

 

You can buy books here

More Kindle books:

And the big
paperback book


Look inside

 

Please help and share:

 

Quick links

Disciplines

* Argument
* Brand management
* Change Management
* Coaching
* Communication
* Counseling
* Game Design
* Human Resources
* Job-finding
* Leadership
* Marketing
* Politics
* Propaganda
* Rhetoric
* Negotiation
* Psychoanalysis
* Sales
* Sociology
* Storytelling
* Teaching
* Warfare
* Workplace design

Techniques

* Assertiveness
* Body language
* Change techniques
* Closing techniques
* Conversation
* Confidence tricks
* Conversion
* Creative techniques
* General techniques
* Happiness
* Hypnotism
* Interrogation
* Language
* Listening
* Negotiation tactics
* Objection handling
* Propaganda
* Problem-solving
* Public speaking
* Questioning
* Using repetition
* Resisting persuasion
* Self-development
* Sequential requests
* Storytelling
* Stress Management
* Tipping
* Using humor
* Willpower

Principles

* Principles

Explanations

* Behaviors
* Beliefs
* Brain stuff
* Conditioning
* Coping Mechanisms
* Critical Theory
* Culture
* Decisions
* Emotions
* Evolution
* Gender
* Games
* Groups
* Habit
* Identity
* Learning
* Meaning
* Memory
* Motivation
* Models
* Needs
* Personality
* Power
* Preferences
* Research
* Relationships
* SIFT Model
* Social Research
* Stress
* Trust
* Values

Theories

* Alphabetic list
* Theory types

And

About
Guest Articles
Blog!
Books
Changes
Contact
Guestbook
Quotes
Students
Webmasters

 

| Home | Top | Menu | Quick Links |

© Changing Works 2002-2016
Massive Content — Maximum Speed