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Classical Conditioning: Ivan Pavlov Essay

680 words - 3 pages

Ivan Pavlov, a russian behaviorist, is known for his classic conditioning experiments. Classical Conditioning is a type of learning where we associate two stimuli. It is noted that his curiosity aspired when he noticed salivation ran on the tangent of putting food in a dogs mouth. He began noticing that the dog not only salivated to the food in its mouth but with the environment associated with food such as location, sight of the person feeding him, the food dish, even the sound of footsteps. Pavlov considered these “psychic secretions” an annoyance of his study until he realized it all apart of the form of learning.

Pavlov began to set up his experiment he first eliminated any ...view middle of the document...

The stimulus that was previously neutral now stimulated the response to salivate, in other words, the bell is now a conditioned stimulus(CS) and the salivation is the conditioned response(CR). Without the Acquisition stage the eventual conditioned response wouldn’t have the strength to associate the conditioned stimuli.

Pavlov continued to emphasize on his research. He questioned what would happen if after conditioning, the bell (CS) occurred repeatedly without the food(US)? Would the dog still salivate(CR)? It seemed that the dog salivated less and less as time went on without the food(US). This reaction is known as Extinction. Gradually the dog stopped salivating to the sound of the bell and became extinct. Extinction weakens the CR while Acquisition strengthens it.

However, when the bell was again paired with the food (US) he started to salivate again (CR). Even with the delay the response is once again stimulated by the bell. This it is known as a Spontaneous Recovery, the extinction was only...

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