'uncondition learning' refers to forgetting the conditioning, society has given us. Also suggest related words.

  • Could you give an example of "uncondition learning," I'm not familiar with that expression? Have you found anything similar but not quite right for your needs?
    – Ryan
    Jun 17 '14 at 17:18
  • no I haven't found anything similar, from our childhood, we are conditioned to be in our limits, taught not to smoke, drink, avoid dangerous situations, some fear of ghosts and all such emotions and habits which wouldn't be in us if we weren't conditioned. I want some word to represent unlearning that conditioning.
    – gndp
    Jun 17 '14 at 17:21
  • @Ryan can you think of some word like that?? am i clear enough?
    – gndp
    Jun 17 '14 at 17:39
  • you want something that would imply or mean undoing of that conditioning. did I get that right?
    – vickyace
    Jun 17 '14 at 17:51
  • yes thats correct @vickyace
    – gndp
    Jun 17 '14 at 18:02

Learned behaviors that are unlearned, or that fade over time are said to be extinguished. This is the term used in psychology and learning theory.



Conditioning is a term used in Behaviourism for the habit formation caused by repetition and reinforcement. I reckon Unconditioning must be setting oneself free from all those habits introduced and strengthened by the environment. In educational psychology there is Rote learning VS Meaningful learning but I doubt it if Unconditioning could be called a Learning process; however, it can be a part of it since it involves Change in behaviour. It might just be detachment from those engraved-in-stone and taken-for-granted attitudes. I think "unlearning" might be good.


here is a phrase: wean off.

it means (often wean someone off) Accustom (someone) to managing without something which they have become dependent on.

examples - I tried to wean him off his superstitions.

we are trying to wean ourselves off going to church.

this is the closest one-word thingamajig I have found "that would roughly imply or connote undoing the conditioned ways."

there are several other phrases: abnegate old ways, renounce conventions, reject customs, repudiate the rules...

you can make your own. that is the beauty of the language.


For anything that is learned, 'unlearn' is the casual word.

For behaviors that are learned, 'extinguish' is the technical word.

For behaviors that are learned by conditioning (whether conditioned by society or other means), there is no word so specific that it applies uniquely to that. But you could play with 'reprogram' or 'decondition' if you wanted to use it that way for this specific context.

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