Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pikes and Minnows

My Psychology teacher told us of Classical Conditioning using a parable about pikes and minnows. A pike is a larger fish and the minnow is generally a small fish. The minnows were the food source for the pikes. The pikes were separated from the pikes by a glass divider that allowed them to see the minnows, but prevented them from swimming to them. The pikes would try to infiltrate the minnows but were unsuccessful and, subsequently, gave up. The divider was later removed, and the pikes were released into the same water as the minnows. The pikes were indifferent to the minnows. The pikes did not attempt to eat the minnows even though it would have been very easy for them to do so.

That story remains in my head and always will. It reminds me to never give up because it may be that one opportunity that arises, when it seems too easy, that changes the direction of one's fate. I hope that my teacher is still teaching Psychology and using that story.     

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