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Chemistry LibreTexts

Classical Conditioning

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    187576
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    Classical Conditioning

    Ivan Pavlov was a scientist who wanted to study the digestion of dogs. Instead, what he learned impacted the way we think about learning.

    Ivan Pavlov A Russian scientist who wanted to study the digestion of dogs; the founder of classical conditioning.

    When Ivan Pavlov first set out to complete his research, he did not intend to research the conditioning of dogs. He was researching the digestive tract of dogs. However, after a few short days, he was quick to note three strange things:

    1. Food that was placed directly into the stomach of the dog did not generate the gastric juices needed for digestion.
    2. Even though food was not placed near the dog’s mouth, the dog would still salivate at the sight of food.
    3. The sight of the experimenter who fed the dogs caused the dog to salivate even if this person was not carrying any food.

    This meant that receiving food could be conditioned to (associate with) the presence of the experimenter (who was feeding the dog).This is an example of
    classical conditioning

    Classical Conditioning A method of conditioning in which associations are made between a natural stimulus and a learned, neutral stimulus. .

    Understanding what Pavlov did is not confusing, however the terms can be. Let’8 s break the experiment down into parts.

     

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    Can you think of any area in your life where you are conditioned? How about the bell ringing to signify the end of class in the traditional school? The first time you heard the bell, you may not have been used to getting up and quickly leaving. Now, it is such an instinct many students are packed up and on the edge of their seat waiting for the bell to ring. Funny enough, if the bell is late, most students will stay in their seat. Try to think of some other ways you are conditioned.