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Help for people with Hypersomnia Disorder


Classical Conditioning

Classical Conditioning (otherwise called the Pavlovian molding) is a conduct treatment that educates through affiliation and was found by Pavlov, a Russian physiologist. Essentially, it implies that two improvements are joined together to create another reaction in an individual. Process of Classical Conditioning

There are three stages in the processes of this behavioural therapy (McLeod. S. ,2018).

Stage 1: Before Conditioning

During this stage the unconditioned stimulus (UCS) which automatically triggers a response produces an unconditioned response (UCR) which occurs naturally in an organism.

For example, when you smell a favourite food you may immediately feel hungry. The smell of the food is the UCS while feeling hungry is the UCR.

At this point, there is neutral stimulus (NS) which has no effect towards the organism. This NS could be anything.

Stage 2: During Conditioning

During this stage a NS is associated with the UCS which causes the NS to become a conditioned stimulus (CS). For classical conditioning to become effective the CS should occur before the UCS rather than after.

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This makes the CS act as a cue for the UCS. For example, supposed you heard a whistle when you smelled your favourite food, although the whistle has no relation to the food, after being paired together a few times it would eventually trigger the conditioned response (CR). In this case the whistle is the CS.

Stage 3: After Conditioning

Presently the CS has been related with the UCS to make another CR. The CR is the new reaction to the already NS.

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In this example, the CR would be feeling hungry whenever you heard the whistle.

Example (Cherry. K. ,2018):

  1. Little Albert Experiment (Phobias) (Watson & Rayner, 1920)
  2. Classical Conditioning of Taste Aversions (Garcia & Koelling, 1966)

Operant ConditioningOperant conditioning is a strategy for discovering that happens through rewards and punishments for conduct. Through this method an association is made between a behaviour and a consequence (Cherry. K., 2018). This behavioural modification was found by B. F. Skinner but his work was based on Thorndike’s (1898) Law of Effect (McLeod. S., 2018). According to this principle, conduct that is trailed by a charming result is bound to be rehashed as opposed to a conduct that is trailed by a horrendous outcome. Skinner found a new term to add into this principle – Reinforcement. He learnt that behaviours which are reinforced tend to have a higher possibility of being repeated and behaviours which are not reinforced tend to be extinguished.

Skinner identified three types of responses that can follow behaviour.

Neutral operants: Responses from the environment that do not affect the probability of the behaviour being repeated.

Reinforcers: Responses from the environment that increases the probability of the behaviour being repeated. Reinforcers could be positive or negative.

Punishers: Responses from the environment that decreases the chances of the behaviour being repeated. Punishments lessen the behaviour.

Process of Operant Conditioning (Prince. K. M. A., 2013, February 5)

Uplifting feedback fortifies a conduct by giving an outcome an individual finds fulfilling. For example, when a teacher gives you a sticker for finishing your homework. This would strengthen your behaviour of completing your homework.

Negative reinforcement strengthens the behaviour by removing an unpleasant reinforcer. An example would be you giving your teacher $5 for not completing your homework. This would strengthen your behaviour of completing your homework.

Positive punishment sometimes referred to punishment by application, which means to supply or provide an unpleasant event to weaken the behaviour. For example, when you mother gives you a spanking for misbehaving. This would weaken your behaviour of misbehaving.

Negative punishment also known as punishment by removal,otherwise called discipline by evacuation, this is the point at which a charming occasion is expelled after an undesirable conduct happens. An example would be when your mother takes away your phone after you misbehave. This would also weaken your behaviour of misbehaving.

Reinforcement schedules

Under reinforcement there are a few factors that influence how quickly and how well some is learnt. Skinner found that frequency of the behaviour played a role in the modification of the behaviour.

Behaviourists (Ferster & Skinner, 1957) discovered that different schedules had different effects on the speed of the response rate and the extinction rate.

Several schedules that Skinner identified were (Reinforcement schedules, n.d.):

  1. Continous reinforcement involves delivering a reinforcement every time a response occurs. Learning for this tends to be very quick however response rate is low, and extinction is also quite quick when the reinforcement is discontinued.
  2. Fixed interval schedules is when reinforcement is given at predictable time intervals. Response and extinction for fixed interval reinforcement is moderate.
  3. Variable interval schedules is when the reinforcement is given at unpredictable time intervals. Response to this is fast and the extinction rate is slow.
  4. Fixed ratio schedules is when the reinforcement is given after a predictable number of responses. Response rate for this is fast and extinction rate is moderate.
  5. Variable ratio schedules is when the reinforcement is given after an unpredictable number of responses. Response towards this is fast however the extinction is slow due to the unpredictability.

Examples of Operant Conditioning

Skinner box (Skinner. B. F, 1948)

Observational Learning

Observational Learning is the process of learning something by watching others, retaining the information observed and then imitating the observed behaviours. The individuals that are observed are known as models. Usually this method of learning is used to help children learn desired behaviours (Cherry.K.,2018). Children usually observe and encode their model’s behaviour regardless of gender but seem to only to imitate behaviours that the child’s society deems gender appropriate.

Process of Observational Learning

Firstly, the child or person using this method is more likely to imitate people that they can identify with meaning the likelihood of following the same gender is higher.

The second part of the process would be for the people around the child or person to respond to the imitated behaviour with either reinforcement or punishment.

For example, if you were to imitate a behaviour from one of your ‘models’ and after doing so, you received praise for that behaviour. You would feel a sense of approval and due to the fact, you want that approval, you would repeat the behaviour.

However, if you were to imitate a behaviour but receive scolding or nagging, you would feel a sense of disapproval which would cause you to not imitate that behaviour.

Thirdly, the child or person would also take into account of the response of the society around the ‘model’. With this the child or person will decide whether the behaviour is worth imitating.

Albert Bandura is a psychologist most often identified with observational learning. He alongside other researchers demonstrated that that humans are naturally inclined to observational learning. Example, children as young as 21 days old have shown imitation of facial expressions and mouth movements. Bandura. A. (1977)

There are two ways of carrying out the learning theory.

The first way would be the cognitive approach which focuses on how the mental (cognitive) factors are involved in learning. This consideration made by using the cognitive approach is called the mediational process.

There are four mediational processes (McLeod.S.,2016):

  • Attention: The behaviour has to grab the persons attention as people observe many behaviours and will only be able to retain behaviours, they pay attention to.
  • Retention: The behaviour may have been observed but can’t be imitated without retention of the information/ behaviour.
  • Reproduction: This is the ability to carry out the behaviour that was observed and retained. This is important because although we may observe and retain information of a behaviour, due to limited physical ability we may not be able to reproduce the behaviour.
  • Motivation: The will to perform the behaviour. The observer will weigh the rewards and punishment and depending on which the observer feel outweighs the other, the observer may or may not feel the importance of imitating the behaviour.

The other way would be behaviourist approach which is to not have some thought prior to imitating but rather just imitating the behaviour or not.

Examples of Observational Learning:

  1. ” Bobo doll” experiment (Bandura. A. 1961)


This step-to-step guide will help guide you by using steps from the 3 theories of learning to improve your disorder.

Step-by-step guide based on Classical Conditioning

You may use this theory of learning for these specific solutions:

To regulate your sleeping schedule

To produce effective power naps

One reason of hypersomnia is sleep deprivation which causes you to be tired during the day, thus by eliminating this issue it should help improve your disorder.

Firstly, you would need to figure out your UCS, this would be something that triggers your URS meaning it causes you to fall asleep during the day. Example, during classes when the lecturer is talking, and you begin to fall asleep.

Once you have found your UCS, you would need to create a NS which will eventually become your CS. For this you could listen to music, specifically calming, soothing music which helps assist you to fall asleep.

After this you would be required to pair your UCS and NS a few times in order to create your CS and CR.

Once the two are paired you would be able to use your CS which in this case is the music to produce your CR whenever needed. For example, when you need to sleep at night or when you need power naps during the day which will help regulate your sleeping schedule.

The advantages of this method are that it is very useful and efficient (Ayres.C.,2016) as you wouldn’t need assistance to carry it out. It would be easy for you to link your music with your UCS. However, the disadvantages (McLeod.S.,2014) of this method would be that you can’t use this method to create new behaviours, meaning you wouldn’t be able to stop the falling asleep during class directly but rather reduce it but regulating your sleep schedule.

Step-by-step guide based on Operant Conditioning

You MAY use this theory of learning for these specific solutions:

To help avoid certain activities prior to bedtime

To eliminate caffeine, alcohol and drugs from daily intake

Other causes of hypersomnia are sunstance abuse and the effect carrying out certain activities before bedtime.

Firstly, you would need to identify the times you are most likely to carry these activities out. For example, you might take drugs or alcohol when you are stressed, and you might take caffeine when you are tired.

Then you should either implement reinforcements or punishments when you practice these unwanted behaviours. For instance, you could use negative reinforcers like putting $10 in a jar every time you consume alcohol or caffeine and use positive reinforcers like treating yourself to facial every week you go without taking drugs.

You could also use negative punishment and remove something valuable of yours, example keeping your phone away when you eat or use electronics before bed.

Although this method is very easy to carry out and could really benefit you as it just requires simple reinforcers or punishers it is also an unpractical training method as it would need the assistance of another person (Ayre.C.,2016) to be carried out. You would constantly need someone to carry out the reinforcements or punishments towards your behaviours.

Step-by-step guide based on Observational Learning

You may use this theory of learning for these specific solutions:

To help maintain a healthy diet

To regulate exercise/ improve physical activity

Another cause of hypersomnia could be being overweight and not having a healthy diet. According to Body Mass Index (L. A. J. Quetelet, 1830s) client Z is considered slightly overweight, thus these solutions might help with the disorder.

To use observational learning to improve these behaviours, you would need a role model. For example, you could observe a family member that exercises and eats healthy on a regular basis or even watch a public figure who likes tokeeps fit.

After observing your role model, you would need to retain the information you have observed like remembering the workout routine that your role model uses or they type of diet your role model consumes.

Once all this information is retained, you would just have to reproduce the behaviours you have observed, and this can be done by carrying out the exercises yourself and following the diet of your role model.

Lastly to make sure you maintain this way of life, you would need motivation. Motivation can come from others like words of encouragement or from yourself like having a cheat day after completing 6 days of following this healthy lifestyle.

This theory of learning has its fair share of advantages and disadvantages. The advantages would be that it would encourage you to make social interaction with your role model for example asking them questions about their routine and how they stay motivated to maintain these behaviours. This also helps enhance your memory as you would need to memorize all kinds of information in order to carry out these behaviours. Unfortunately, the disadvantages (The disadvantages of observational learning, 2017) are that this method is usually used on children, as they are more likely to imitate behaviour (A. Bandura, 1961). However, this can still be used on adults, but the motivation required for adults would need to be more intense. Lastly, a poor role model could lead to an even poorer behaviour. For example, if your role model starves them self in order to look fit that is harmful to you.

In conclusion, these methods can really help you, provided they are used correctly.

Cite this page

Help for people with Hypersomnia Disorder. (2019, Dec 13). Retrieved from

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