Ludovico Technique


The Ludovico technique is a fictional drug-assisted aversion therapy from the novel and film ‘A Clockwork Orange.’ It involves the patient being forced to watch violent images for long periods of time, while under the effect of drugs that cause a near death experience. The idea is that if the patient is forced to watch the horribly graphic rapes, assaults and other acts of violence while suffering from the drug effects, the patient will assimilate the sensations and then become incapacitated or very ill either attempting to perform or even just witnessing said acts of violence.

The concept is an artistic semblance of the psychological phenomenon known as classical conditioning which is a form of associative learning that was first demonstrated by Ivan Pavlov. The typical procedure for inducing classical conditioning involves presentation of a neutral stimulus along with either the presentation of a positive stimulus or the removal of an aversive stimulus. The neutral stimulus could be any event that does not result in an overt behavioral response from the organism under investigation.


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