Ivan Pavlov

Topics: Classical conditioning, Ivan Pavlov, Behaviorism Pages: 3 (1210 words) Published: December 19, 2012
Ivan Pavlov was an early 20th century behaviorist who studies the salivation in dogs. In order to prove the science behind the salivation of his dogs before he was fed, Pavlov used classical conditioning. When he started observing dogs’ salivation in response to being fed, he noticed that his dogs would start salivating when he entered the room even before he brought them their food. Pavlov began the process of classical conditioning because he began proving the existence of the unconditioned response. He presented the dog with a bowl of food and then observed its salivary secretions. Pavlov then realized that the dog would associate many different things with the food and began salivating to them as well. They would start salivating at the lab assistants because they were the ones bringing the food. He then realized that this was an important scientific discovery. Pavlov realized that the dogs had learned how to associate things, such as the lab assistants with food. According to the book, classical conditioning “involves the repeated pairing of two stimuli so that a previously neutral (conditioned) stimulus eventually elicits a response (conditioned response) similar to that originally elicited by a nonneutral (unconditioned) stimulus.” The autonomic nervous system plays a huge part in Pavlov’s classical conditioning. Like the root of its name, the autonomic nervous system is the part of the nervous system responsible for control of the bodily functions not consciously directed, such as breathing, the heartbeat, and digestive processes. During Pavlov’s experiment, an association was created so that there could be a specific response to a specific stimulus that would otherwise never illicit. There are four variables in classical conditioning. During his experiment, the food was considered the unconditioned stimulus because it was automatically going to have the response, the salivation was considered both the unconditioned response and conditioned response...
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