Brave New World
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Brave New World
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OKAY, some of y’all know nothing about conditioning, so I’m gonna clear some things up. Don’t feel bad, these are common mistakes. I’m basing this off of everything I learned in AP Psychology, so I know what I’m talking about more than the average person. If you ever have a psychology question, you can always send an ask and I’ll be more than glad to answer.
Ever heard of Pavlov? This is what he did. Essentially, this is call and response.
There are four things: Unconditioned Response, Conditioned Response, Unconditioned Stimuli, and Conditioned Stimuli.
Let’s use Pavlov to explain this. Pavlov was a doctor doing experiments on dog salivation and accidentally made a huge psychological discovery. Essentially, he would ring a bell every time he was bringing food to the dogs. Over time, the dogs would salivate when the bell rang, even if there was no food.
The Unconditioned Stimuli was the food, and the Unconditioned Response was salivation in the presence of food. Dogs do not have to be trained to salivate when there’s food. That is an innate biological response.
The Conditioned Stimuli was the bell, and the Conditioned Response was salivation upon hearing the bell. Dogs don’t normally salivate when they hear bells; Pavlov’s dogs were conditioned to.
Classical conditioning works when Unconditioned are combined with the Conditioned. Over time, Pavlov’s dogs connected bells with food. They knew a bell ringing would mean food. So their salivary glands would jump the gun on salivation, and they’d salivate no matter what.
Classical conditioning can easily happen by accident, as was the case with Pavlov. It can also be done on purpose. To give a whumpy example, perhaps a whumper classically conditions the whumpee. The Unconditioned Stimuli could be whipping. The Unconditioned Response could be fear, panic, crying, begging, something along those lines. The Conditioned Stimuli could be AC/DC music that the whumper had on speakers while whipping the whumpee. The Conditioned Response could be being scared/panicking/crying/begging/etc when the whumpee hears AC/DC. Perhaps it was accidental on the whumper’s part, or perhaps it was intentional. Either way, upon learning this, I’m sure the whumper would enjoy turning on “Thunderstruck” and listen to the whumpee beg even though the whip is nowhere in sight.
Classical conditioning can be broken, as can any form of conditioning. That means a whumper has to alternate between whipping and not whipping when AC/DC is on. If they go to long without the whip, it can dampen the conditioning. With some exposure therapy, a caretaker can also help the whumpee listen to AC/DC again. If a caretaker exposes the whumpee to AC/DC multiple times and no pain is involved, then eventually the conditioning will dampen or be gone entirely.
Depending on multiple factors, some things can be deconditioned faster than others. Pain is a big factor. I’ve classically conditioned myself to dilate my eyes when I hear my ringtone once for my psych class, but it lasted fifteen minutes. Because it wasn’t life threatening and no pain was involved. Your brain will latch onto things related to pain. So anything the whumper does will have a long lasting effect on the whumpee. Time is also huge. If the whumper has only whipped with AC/DC a couple of times before, the whumpee will be conditioned, but it will break fast. So a caretaker wants to rescue the whumpee fast to make deconditioning as fast as possible.
Actually, for another prompt, Pavlov’s experiment could work for a pet whumpee. Then there’s even more comparisons between them and a dog.
Classical conditioning, generally, is harmless, or even helpful. At most, generally, irrational (for example, dog bites you for once and now you’re scared of dogs). But usually it’s little things that don’t matter all that much (flinching when someone pretends to throw something at you) or helpful (fear of strangers). But give a whumper classical conditioning, and your whumpee is in for a bad time.
“Michelle, I already know about positive and negative reinforcement!”
“Great, can you tell me about it?”
“Positive reinforcement is giving a reward for a behavior, and negative reinforcement is a punishment.”
THAT IS NOT WHAT NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT IS.
Repeat it after me.
Negative reinforcement is not punishment!
There are in fact four things involved in operant conditioning: positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, positive punishment, and negative punishment.
Reinforcement is meant to increase a behavior.
Punishment is meant to decrease a behavior.
Positive means it is adding something.
Negative means it is taking away something.
Positive Reinforcement is when you give something to increase behavior. This is often called the “carrot.” Letting a whumpee sleep with a blanket when they are good is positive reinforcement. The whumpee is more likely to be good for the whumper and not defiant because they were rewarded for their compliance. Or it could be caretaker giving praise to the whumpee when they are recovering and don’t call caretaker “Master.” The whumpee is more likely to call the caretaker by their name than “Master” now that they’ve been praised for it.
Negative Reinforcement is when you take something away to increase a behavior. This could be a caretaker giving whumpee ibuprofen for a headache. Taking ibuprofen takes away the pain, which makes the whumpee more likely to take ibuprofen for headaches in the future. A whumper taking away the whumpee’s mobility via restraints will make the whumpee stay where they need to be. In the future the whumpee will stay even when not restrained.
Positive Punishment is giving something to decrease behavior. This is the “stick.” Your average whump is positive punishment. Whumper beats whumpee for not being good? Positive punishment. A caretaker can also practice this theoretically (I’ll talk about healthy conditioning later). Caretaker could give whumpee a stern talking to for acting out. They’d have to be extremely careful though, and I’ll talk about that in a moment.
Negative Punishment is taking away something to decrease behavior. The whumper can take away the whumpee’s shoes to decrease their behavior of trying to go outside. The caretaker can take away the whumpee’s collar to decrease any behaviors associated with being a pet.
Some of these can be kind of two at once. For example, the caretaker taking away the whumpee’s collar so they don’t act like a pet is negative punishment. If you rephrase it to say the collar is taken so the whumpee acts more like a person, that is now negative reinforcement. The action of removing the whumpee’s collar is both negative punishment and negative reinforcement, it just depends on how you look at it.
Conditioning isn’t inherently bad. Everything in existence has the potential to be good and the potential to be evil, it just depends on how we use it. Conditioning can be very good, very bad, or not affect anything. It all depends on how it is being used. There is healthy conditioning that is very good. Through too much or too little operant conditioning, you can have serious psychological problems. For any of you guys that have kids you take care of in your life, a good mix of these four is healthy when done right! Generally you should do more reinforcement than punishment when possible because it helps with motivation (which is a long rabbit hole we won’t go down today), but punishment isn’t necessarily bad. I’ve given both good and bad examples of all four types of operant conditioning. Whether it’s good or bad depends on the person.
I can go into greater detail on all four for both the whumper and the caretaker, but I think most of it you’ll have down now. I’ll delve into positive punishment by the caretaker to demonstrate this specific problem the caretaker might run into. While this does include the whumper’s beatings and torture, positive punishment isn’t necessarily physical. With children, typically adding chores or lecturing is good. Not necessarily with a whumpee if you want the whumpee to recover (though, I suppose you could make the caretaker terrible at their job and accidently punish the whumpee in unhealthy ways for more whump). If a whumpee was a slave and forced to clean, the caretaker shouldn’t make cleaning a punishment. It will positively reinforce the behaviors the whumper wanted, which is not good. If the whumpee was “lectured” to (way more maliciously than a typical parent would), lecturing would be a terrible idea because it also would reinforce the whumper’s desired behaviors from the whumpee. The caretaker has to be extremely careful with all four methods. They have to be careful to not reinforce the whumper’s desired behaviors and punish the undesired ones. Which can be really hard if the whumpee hasn’t told the caretaker what happened (HINT HINT this could be some good whump HINT HINT). The caretaker can also do mini physical positive punishments, like in @deluxewhump ‘s Max and Pet series when Max hits Carlo with a rubber band. ONLY IF THE WHUMPEE FEELS THEY NEED SOME SORT OF PHYSICAL POSITIVE PUNISHMENT. If the whumpee doesn’t want anything to do with being hurt, do not do this, this is what the whumper would do. This only really works with small things like rubber bands or else it is too painful and that is especially problematic for all involved. Physical positive punishment done by the caretaker is not ideal, but can be helpful in the early stages of recovery with some whumpees.
As for deconditioning, studies have shown that if after every time a person does the behavior, they get the consequence, they decondition faster than if it’s every few times. Which might be good for the whumpee! Most whumpers I’ve seen are pretty consistent about always punishing or reinforcing the whumpee! Though, if you get a psychologist whumper…that can suck for the whumpee. I can go into more detail later on this since this kind of gets tricky. Look up operant conditioning schedules if you don’t want to ask.
I’m not going into a lot of detail because if I do I’m going to go into social psychology and that’s its own field and we don’t have time for that.
Basically, we act like people around us. This dives into conformity and roles and whatnot. We’re all socially conditioned. This especially effects kids. They watch adults do things and imitate the adults. That’s why kids know you are supposed to hold your phone up to your ears and talk. This is why people don’t want kids watching rated R movies because studies have shown that when kids watch violence they are more likely to be violent, especially the younger they are, and no one wants a ridiculously violent five year old. I can name a famous experiment for this, Bandura’s bobo doll experiment, where kids watched adults beat up a bobo doll and then proceeded to do the same.
This can be used in whump for whumpees raised in slavery because they’re socially conditioned to act like a slave. And it would be so hard to break that conditioning. If you have ever moved to a country with a vastly different culture you’d know how hard it is to break social conditioning.
Now That You Have That…
Go and write conditioning correctly. Seriously. Psych nerds hate hearing the “negative reinforcement is punishment” thing. Seriously, please don’t. And please reblog so people will see this so that more people in the whump community will learn this.
If you ever have questions concerning psychology, send me an ask, I’ll be more than glad to help! I love psychology! This can go for disorders, therapy, social psych, learning/conditioning, memory, motivation, health, development, etc. If I don’t know the answer, I can look it up, or give you good sources to look into.
For anyone interested, I recommend taking psychology classes. If you’re in high school I recommend AP Psychology, and I don’t know anything about college psych classes, but I’m sure there are good ones. It will help you in your day to day life and help you write whump. Plus it’s fascinating.
Just a 30-minute “see what I can write in that time” drabble! Angsty and sad, but hey, what else do you read me for?
CW: References to dehumanization, PTSD, near-flashbacks, but nothing specific
The woman in the grocery store puts a hand on his arm, and Danny nearly recoils before he catches himself.
Don’t pull away. Never flinch.
He swallows against the way his skin crawls even through his heavy sweater - too heavy for the time of year, they say, but even though cold doesn’t bother Danny any longer like it used to, he never really feels warm, either.
Malnourishment, the doctors say. Four years of never eating enough, of Abraham making sure he didn’t have enough to keep him healthy. He’s started putting on weight but it’s not enough, not yet, and the doctors make him go back once a month to get weighed again.
Patrick’s private doctors are nice enough to Danny - he’s known them his whole life - but they don’t know what to do with what happened to him, with what he is now. And he won’t let them look at everything, like the doctors in Canada did.
That had been an emergency. Danny hadn’t been entirely himself yet, had still been drifting back and forth between someone else and himself, depending on whether or not Nate was nearby.
“Excuse me,” The woman asks him in a tremulous voice. She’s older, way older than Dr. Rosa, and she’s perfectly harmless.
And still Danny swallows back fear at her touch.
“Are you the young Michaelson boy? From the news?”
The whumper has conditioned the whumpee not to respond to their own name anymore. When they’re rescued and Caretaker calls them by their name, Whumpee acts like they don’t hear it. Caretaker repeats it. There’s a flinch, an uncomfortable expression.
“[Name]! Can you hear me?”
“No! No, no, no, that’s not right,” they chant anxiously, pressing their hands over their ears. “I’m Pet. I’m called Pet.”
Britain’s Orwellian thought police.
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Growing up in a deeply mysoginstic society we’re conditioned to think of girls who have their own interests and tastes instead of just falling easily into reductive mysoginstic stereotypes are “not like other girls” or “almost like one of the guys” and thats fucked up.
Look at me, making a new thing AGAIN! Basically, I made a
prompt I thought was way interesting and I thought it’d need more than one part, so here we go. Once again there’ll be a sympathetic whumper, and there’ll be an extremely conditioned whumpee who loves the whumper to death. Kind of untraditional maybe but screw it I wanna write it. Also probably not chronological order? I dunno what I’m doing, not gonna lie. Oh well I’ll figure it out. Allow me to introduce you to Zack, our whumpee, and Lily, our sympathetic whumper.
Extreme conditioning, not rescued by a caretaker but a very different kind of whumper, brief suicidal ideation, past torture, sympathetic whumper, somewhat similar to pet whumpees but Lily treats Zack as a human still
“Oh, dear goodness, what did they to you, you poor thing?!” someone exclaimed, waking up Zack. Zack whimpered. Nothing good every happened what he was awoken by voices talking to him. It always meant someone was mad at him, and that meant the pain would be that much worse. “Oh, sweetheart, look at me, please.” Zack looked up at the owner of the voice that seemed to be kind, but nothing is as it seems. A woman in her thirties with soft brown eyes and light strawberry blonde hair looked down at him with worry. She reached forward to touch Zack’s face, and he flinched away. He was so tired of being hurt. Sometimes, he just wished his torturers would go too far and kill him. Then he wouldn’t have to suffer another day in pain. He had no idea how long he’d been there, but it felt like a lifetime.
“Oh, honey, it’s alright. I won’t hurt you, darling. I’ll get you somewhere safe. They won’t hurt you again.” The woman brushed hair out of Zack’s face with a gentle hand. “I’ll keep you safe, honey, nothing will hurt you, I promise.”
No one had told Zack that since the day the thugs had dragged him into that white van so long ago. Every day had been hours and hours of torture. He wanted to believe the woman, but how could he be sure? “R-really?”
The woman smiled and held his chin up. “Of course, sweetheart. I will have a few rules, naturally, but nothing you can’t handle. Anything’s better than here, right?”
Zack had to agree. Anything would be better. If this woman wanted him to stay with her…. A few rules would be okay.
“P-please, please keep me safe.”
The woman smiled sweetly. “Of course, sweetie, of course.” She gently touched him. “I’m gonna have to pick you up, hon. It’ll hurt, I’m sorry. I don’t wanna hurt you, but I need to getcha out of here.” Zack nodded and braced himself. The woman slowly hefted him up and Zack screamed in pain before blacking out.
Zack whimpered as he woke. It took him a few seconds for his memories to rush back to him. He was safe. This woman, bless her soul, had saved him. He’d never be hurt again.
Everything was so warm and soft. He hadn’t felt anything like this for the longest time. Everything hurt, yes, but he had been tortured for a year or so. It would take a long time for the pain to go away. But everything felt so nice now. He had forgotten what a bed felt like, or a blanket. Opening his eyes, Zack saw he was on a plush memory foam mattress, blankets heaped on him. The sheets were flannel to keep him warm. The room was soft and clean and nothing about it was scary. The woman was sitting in a chair next to his bed, a warm smile on her face.
“There’s no need to thank me, little one. I’ll keep you safe and secure, honey.” She stroked a hand over the back of his own. “My name is Lily. What about you?”
“Please, Zack, call me Lily. I only want you to be comfortable. Now, I have a surprise for you, just let me get it.” Lily went out the door but came back a second later with something in her arms. She set it on a nightstand and came to help Zack sit up. Once he was upright, she set the thing on his lap. He looked down to find hashbrowns, eggs, and French toast. A mug of cocoa was left on the nightstand. “You must be hungry, Zack. I don’t know what you’ve been eating, but I want you to be well fed, understood?”
Zack eagerly nodded. “Yes, ma–sorry–Lily.”
Lily smiled and ruffled his hair affectionately. “When you’re done–and take as much time as you need, sweetheart–I’ll help you get washed off, and I’ll tell you what I need from you, okay?”
Zack nodded with hope filled eyes. “Yes, please let me stay, Lily.”
“Of course I will, I just need you to do some things for me so that you can stay.”
Next up: a barrel full of Funk.
I bought this rum on a whim because I saw “pot still” and “unaged”. The label is correct. It’s real weird. @cyle described it as “grass-filled gummy bears”. I think it’s a bit like an herbal-y mezcal. Feels like new make they watered down to 100 proof.
Whatever it is, it’s in the barrel. Let’s see what happens!
♡ H O N E Y ♡
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The whumper speaks a different language to the whumpee, and insists that the whumpee use it. They learn a whole second language of words for please, sorry, stop.
When they’re rescued, they’re terrified even to hear their original tongue, let alone use it.
I don’t know why I even try anymore. What I’ve learned in psychology is positive reinforcement, and I know a lot about human behaviour. Yet, I see people that do negative things be rewarded, while many good people aren’t rewarded. It isn’t about the rewards, but the appreciation. I just don’t know why I even try as so many people that do bad things get rewarded and we wonder why criminals exist? I am just feeling lonely and defeated today.
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I was going to write some recovery stuff for Jammie, but that’s no fun and the wonderful @straight-to-the-pain gave me ideas so here we are. Jammie is back to being not-so-great. Let’s just pretend he recovered to some extent physically before master found him again, because last you guys saw him he was mostly dead. Now he’s not so it’s time for more pain.
I had these two thoughts, and just wanted to share with y'all. Hope y'all have had an amazing thanksgiving!
Intimate Whumper and Conditioned Whumpee:
It was sitting with Master, it could see and had the blindfold off. Master was feeling generous today. Master called today, “Thanksgiving” it doesn’t know why today is special, it gives thanks everyday.
“So, my sweet. What are you thankful for? Hm?” Marker asked, as Master stroked it’s hair. It did not say anything, it did not have permission to talk. “Oh, so good my darling. You remembered, that’s always one of the arrest rules isn’t it sweetheart? You may speak.”
It glowed at the praise from Master. It through carefully about its words, as they were a gift. “It, it is thankful for you Master. It is thankful for your mercy, it is thankful for being fed. It is thankful for being able to talk. It is thankful for the bed that Master has given it. It is thankful that Master saved it from the world. It is thankful for everything that Master has given it.” It felt that that was the right answer, it wanted to look up at Master to make sure that it gave the right answer, but it didn’t. It didn’t have permission.
“My sweet, good job! That was the perfect answer. I am also thankful for you. You can look up, to see how proud of you I am my sweet.” Master said. It felt ecstatic, it said the right thing, it hardly did that. It looked up at Master’s eyes who looked joyous at how much their pet has grown. It asked a question with its eyes and Master nodded.
“It-it lo-loves Master.” It said quietly. Master wrapped master’s arms around it and gave a quick squeeze.
“Master loves it too. Oh now you’ve grown my sweet.” Master said happily. It was happy because Master was happy.
Whumpee and Caretaker/Found Family:
Whumpee is referred to as W, Caretaker/Found Family is referred to as C becuz I got lazy.
Today was Thanksgiving, a holiday. W didn’t remember the last holiday they had. W and C spent the entire day cooking and preparing the thanksgiving feast. W was really exited for the apple pie, they had made it themself.
Everyone was gathered at the table, the food steaming in front of them. W waited for others to start gathering food before they did. They didn’t grab a lot, they wanted to save room for dessert.
“Are you gonna get more than that?” C asked quietly, concerned.
“I’m saving room for my apple pie, C,” W said carefully. C smiled and dug in. As they were eating they went around and said what they were thankful for. W had a lot that they were thankful for. It was eventually their turn, they were a bit overwhelmed by the stares, it seemed like so many eyes. C grabbed their hand and gave them a kind smile.
“You don’t have to do it if you don’t want to W,” C said, trying to reassure W.
“No, no I. I wanna do this.” W said. “I’m thankful for a lot of things this year, but mostly how kind and patient everyone has been with me and all your wonderful things that you have given me. I’m thankful for all of you guys and C.” They gave everyone a smile before turning to their slice of apple pie.