• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Ivan Pavlov and the Theory of Classical Conditioning

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Ivan Pavlov and the Theory of Classical Conditioning Historiography PSY496 Robert Shannon 7/24/2012 Learning by way of classical conditioning was introduced by Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936), a Russian physiologist, in 1903, and by John B. Watson (1878-1958), who studied the effects of classical conditioning in infants. Although a number of forms of learning exist, the most fundamental type of learning is associative learning. Associative learning is achieved by creating a new association that connects events in one?s environment. Associative learning comes in two forms: classical conditioning and operant conditioning. The general idea of Pavlov?s experiments was the presentation of food as a stimulus to the dog. Once this had been accomplished, Pavlov began to pair meat powder with a variety of stimuli like ringing a bell; therefore, Pavlov had established how stimulus-response bonds, that some consider the essential foundation of learning, were formed. John B. Watson extended the work of Pavlov and applied his work to human beings (Learning Theories Knowledgebase, 2010). The focus of this paper will be on the type of learning introduced by Pavlov by way of his experiments with dogs and classical conditioning. According to A Dictionary of Psychology (2010), classical conditioning is defined as ?One of the two major forms of conditioning, being the ...read more.


The farmer had to find a way to stop the dog from desiring the chickens. To discourage the dog from wanting the chickens, the farmer decided to take some of the meat that came from one of his chickens and taint it with a drug that would not be fatal but would cause the dog to become nauseated and disoriented after eating the meat. The farmer placed the tainted chicken in the chicken coop where the dog would find it first, and then placed the dog into the chicken coop. Each time the dog was placed into the chicken coop, he ate the tainted chicken and became sick. The farmer continued placing the dog into the henhouse each night before retiring; each time he did this, the dog would smell the chicken, eat the meat first and become sick. After a number of pairings, of the UC stimulus (the chickens) and the conditioned stimulus (the tainted chicken), the dog would smell the chickens, become anxious, and make haste for the henhouse door. The key fundamentals of classical conditioning for this scenario are the unconditioned stimulus (US), the unconditioned response (UR), the conditioned stimulus (CS), and the conditioned response (CR) ...read more.


Classical conditioning is a spontaneous or reflexive form of learning; the ultimate goal of classical conditioning is to evoke a particular desired reflex via a neutral stimulus by coupling the neutral stimulus with a stimulus that evokes the desired reflex. The scenarios provided by Ivan Pavlov and John B. Watson set the standard for the use of classical conditioning for numerous types of behavioral modification and learning theories. The use of classical conditioning can be seen in the example of the dog who continually found his way into a chicken coop at night. The dog had come to like killing the chickens while the farmer and his family slept. The farmer used classical conditioning to discourage the dog from desiring the chickens by using an unconditioned stimulus: tainted chicken. The expected results of the famer were that the dog would learn a new behavior, and stop killing his chickens. By pairing the neutral stimulus (tainted chicken) with the conditioned stimulus (the chickens) he would ultimately evoke the desired response of the dog no longer desiring the chickens in his coop. The dog?s reflexive behavior would at last be changed. To demonstrate this process, a flow diagram is provided following the reference pages. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Cognitive Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Cognitive Psychology essays

  1. Learning. Throughout this paper I will explain classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and imitation ...

    However, most of the time it ends up being a different kind of bug and I have generalized it with a lady bug. Throughout the years of my classical conditioning, I have yet to experience the extinction of my fear of lady bugs.

  2. How Minority views afects Majority - Conformity

    Conformity can basically help show how people change their original answer or opinion to a question/or in a discussion when there is real or imagined group pressure. This shows how people are influenced by other peoples opinions, or by group pressure.

  1. Investigating the effects of organisation on learning

    Having almost made a complete recovery from a stroke two years previously, M.D. experienced no problems except that he was unable to name different types of fruit and vegetable or sort them into categories. However, he was able to name and sort types of food, for example, and vehicles,

  2. Discuss the Main Treatments for Schizophrenia

    About one-third of these used behavioural strategies too such as turning the TV up to drown out voices. And also, 72% of these patients using strategies reported that at least one of their strategies was successful in controlling their symptoms.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work