January 28, 2012
R. Trent Codd III
Behaviorism is a institute of thought in psychology founded on the assumption that learning occurs through interactions with our environment. Two other assumptions of this theory are that the environment contours behavior as well as that taking internal mental states such as thoughts, feelings an also emotion into consideration is impractical in explaining behavior (Cherry, 2013). One of the best-known characteristics of behavioral learning theory is classical conditioning. Discovered by Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov, classical conditioning is a learning process that occurs through associations between an environmental stimulus as well as a naturally occurring stimulus (Cherry, 2013). Theory of Classical Conditioning
Classical conditioning from Pavlov’s studies uses a stimulus, such as food, presented to an organism which will promote a natural also involuntary reaction, such as salivating. The stimulus promoting this natural reaction is referred to as the unconditioned stimulus. In this case, the food was the unconditioned stimulus. The natural, involuntary reaction to the unconditioned stimulus is known as the unconditioned response. In this case, salivation was the unconditioned response (Olson & Hergenhahn, 2009). A neutral stimulus (one that does not cause an unconditioned response), such as a tone or light, is presented to the organism just prior to the presentation of the unconditioned stimulus. This neutral stimulus is called the conditioned stimulus (Olson & Hergenhahn, 2009). After the conditioned stimulus and unconditioned stimulus are paired a number of times, with the conditioned stimulus always preceding the unconditioned stimulus, the conditioned stimulus alone can be presented, and the organism will salivate. This salivating response, similar to the organism’s response to the unconditioned...