Free Essays On Classical Conditioning

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Essay about classical conditioning

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When ever the bell rings in any school in any nationyou are guaranteed to see students and teachers file into the hallway. This automatic response comes from somethingthat has been around for a long time called classical conditioning. Classicalconditioning was discovered and researched by Ivan Pavlov, a Russianphysiologist. His famous experimentwith his dog is known to nearly everyone who has had a middle school or highereducation. He fed his dog in a pattern,every time he fed his dog he rang a bell. Eventually the dog associated the bell with food and would begin tosalivate just on hearing the bell. Thatis the original experiment proving classical conditioning.
What is aconditioned stimulus? “A neutralstimulus that, after repeated…show more content…

When Pavlovdiscovered classical conditioning it was, like most major discoveries, byaccident. Pavlov’s original purpose wasto collect the saliva of dogs to study. Pavlov made a small cut on the inside of the dog’s mouth and attached atube that connected to a container for the collection and measurement ofsaliva. One day he noticed that therewas saliva starting to collect in the container when the dog heard theassistant coming to feed him. The dog hadalready been conditioned to the sound of the footsteps as a conditionedstimulus. And although completely byaccident Pavlov had just proved his classical conditioning theory. He had made a discovery, now was his chance to research it, and hedid so in his lab of his own design. His laboratory was in St. Petersburg, Russia more than a centuryago. He was extremely meticulous aboutnothing getting in and influencing his test subjects at all. “The windows were covered in extra thicksheets of glass; each room had double steel doors which sealed hermeticallywhen closed; and the steel girders which supported the floors were embedded insand. A deep moat filled with strawencircled the building. Thus vibration,noise, temperature extremes, odors, even drafts were eliminated. Nothing could influence the animals exceptthe conditioning stimulus to which they were exposed. (Schultz 1975pp187-188)” (World of Psychology pg166)Pavlov went on to win the Nobel Prize in 1904

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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 unwanted and possible influences. Pavlov and his…show more content…

They then began their trials by adding in a neutral stimulus(NS), in Pavlovs case, a bell which gave no response of salivation before the experiment. The dog otherwise would have his ears perk up. After numerous trials of ringing the bell just as they were feeding the dog, it came to ignore the bell for it showed no consequence, this is when the dog began orienting to the new stimulus marking the habituation of the organism. Naturally a dog does not salivate to the sound of a bell but it happened. The dog associated the ring of the bell to food, they found that the bell alone was enough for the salivation response. 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


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