Classical Conditioning

Topics: Classical conditioning, Ivan Pavlov, Behaviorism Pages: 2 (860 words) Published: November 2, 2014

Classical Conditioning and Smoking
Chandler-Gilbert Community College
Through Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov’s findings we know that dogs have been trained to salivate under the influence of a neutral stimulus when that stimulus is paired with the conditioned response. In time the neutral stimulus becomes the conditioned stimulus that draws out the conditioned response. In the same process a smoker can have conditioned stimuli that influences them to smoke. Classical Conditioning and Smoking

As humans, we have natural responses to stimuli in the world around us. These reactions are in a sense programmed into our brain and are triggered with the influence of a stimulus. Some examples of these natural unconditioned responses are salivation at the appearance of food, being startled by a loud noise, and contraction of pupils when light is shined in the eyes. These responses required no learning to appear in our behavior, however we do have the ability to learn or condition new responses to create habits and alter our behavior. The theory behind this learning is known as Classical Conditioning. Through Classical Conditioning Ivan Pavlov was able to condition dogs to salivate at the sound of a bell, through the same process humans can be conditioned to smoke and quit smoking. Ivan Pavlov was a Russian physiologist that experimented in psychology after he accidentally found a peculiar behavior in dogs that he was performing tests on. He had initially been testing to see how much dogs would salivate when food was presented, but when he found that the dogs began to salivate with no food present at all he began to study their behavior. “Unlike the salivary response to the presentation of food, which is an unconditioned reflex, salivating to the expectation of food is a conditioned reflex.”(Cherry 2012) Pavlov chose a metronome as a neutral stimulus to test his findings, a stimulus that in and of itself has no influence over a dog’s salivary...

References: Cherry, K. (2010). Classical conditioning. Retrieved from, K. (2011, March 22). Retrieved from, L. (2010, November 01). Strategies to stop smoking. Retrieved from
Wood, S. E., Wood, E. R., & Boyd, D. R. (2004). Mastering the world of psychology. Boston: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.
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