Ever wondered what it would be like to be slapped awake for 15 days straight?
YouTube user zachcurd wondered just that and asked his wife to participate in what appears to be a viral version of the psychology concept of “classical conditioning.”
In case you’re a bit foggy on your Psych 101, “classical conditioning” is a form of learning in which the conditioned stimulus comes to signal the occurrence of a second stimulus.
The most famous example of classical conditioning was performed by Ivan Pavlov, who rang a bell just before presenting a dog with food. After a while, he would ring the bell and not present food, but the dog would salivate anyway, because it associated a bell ringing with being fed.
Back to the “Slapped Awake” video:
“I told my wife to wake me up every morning with a sharp slap about the face. These are the results,” zachcurd wrote.
The first few days are simple. Zach is slapped in the face, and he wakes up. Then, at roughly the halfway point of the experiment, he starts becoming more and more paranoid, and his wife tries different things to make him vulnerable to slapage.
Day 9 particularly stands out as our “classical conditioning” example, because his wife merely says “Hey, Zach?” to wake him up. He immediately jolts awake and covers his face, expecting to be slapped.
Posted on September 14, 2011, the video has been slow to viral success with just over 500,000 views, but it’s definitely worth the 1:45 it takes to watch it.
Here’s “Slapped Awake” for your viewing pleasure: