Ivan Pavlov

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Ivan Pavlov

A research paper
presented to

In Partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the course
AP Psychology

May 24, 2011
Ivan Petrovich Pavlov was a Russian Physiologist that was born in Ryazan. He was born into a Russian Orthodox family and was originally planning to follow in his father’s footsteps as a priest. His high-school training was received in an ecclesiastical seminary in Ryazan. He graduated afterwards from the Natural Sciihck Faculity of the University of St. Petersburg, and in 1879 obtained his M.D. degree from the Medico-Chirurgical Academy in that city. He became a professor of physiology in 1895 at the Imperial Military–Medical Academy in St. Petersburg, where he did research on the digestive process for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1904. Starting in 1901 and for the next 35 years, Pavlov studied dogs and their salivary reflexes. With experimentation, he discovered a higher order of learning. This was the beginning to his understanding the brain’s way of adapting to changing external environments. As a famous man in psychological history, Ivan Pavlov passed away in Leningrad on February 27, 1936.

According to the Nobel Foundation (1967), Ivan Petrovich Pavlov was born on September 14, 1849 in Ryazan, where his father, Peter Dmitrievich Pavlov was a village priest. He was born into a very religious family in which his father was a priest and his mother was the daughter of a priest (Saunders 2006). He was the oldest of eleven children, six of which died during childhood. With help from his father, Ivan had acquired a lifelong love for physical labor and for learning. He loved to work with his father in gardens and orchards; this early interest in plants lasted his entire life. At the age of ten, Pavlov had a very serious fall that put him in the care of his grandfather before he began his schooling at the age of eleven at Ryazan Ecclesiastical High School.  His grandfather encouraged him to read and write down any comments or remarks he made on his readings.  This technique led him to a lifelong dedication to the technique of systematic observation. His very own grandfather had influenced him to become interested in learning. When Pavlov was eleven, he entered the second grade of the church school at Ryazan. In 1864, when he was 15, he went to the Theological Seminary of Ryazan, a school for training priests. There he studied religion, classical languages, and philosophy, and he developed an interest in science. In 1870 Pavlov was admitted to the University of St. Petersburg (Leningrad) in Russia. He studied animal physiology as his major and chemistry as his minor. At the university he studied organic chemistry (the science that studies how living things are made) and inorganic chemistry (the science that studies how nonliving things are made). After graduating from the University of St. Petersburg, Pavlov entered the Military Medical Academy in 1881. He worked there as a laboratory assistant for two years. In 1877, while still at the academy, he published his first work. It was about the regulation of the circulation of blood by reflexes. Two years later he completed his course at the academy. He successfully competed in an examination that was given to the entire school. By winning this competition, Pavlov was given a scholarship to continue postgraduate study at the academy. In 1881, Pavlov married Seraphima Vasilievna Karchevskaya who was a teacher and the daughter of a doctor in the Black Sea fleet. She first had a miscarriage supposedly caused by having to run after her very fast-walking husband. Later they had a son, Wirchik, who died very suddenly as a child. Following Wirchik, they had three sons, Vladimir, Victor and Vsevolod. Vsevolod became a very well known physicist and professor of physics at Leningrad in 1925 (Babkin, 1949). They also had a daughter named Vera. It is not well known, but Pavlov loved a woman named Adria Karle...
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