Classical Conditioning Paper

Essay by crivasUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, February 2012

download word file, 3 pages 0.0


Classical Conditioning Paper

Carolyn Rivas

University of Phoenix


February 6, 2012

Gary Burk


Classical Conditioning Paper

Accidently founded by Ivan Pavlov, classical conditioning is basically learning by association behavior. A better definition would be "A process of behavior modification by which a subject comes to respond in a desired manner to a previously neutral stimulus that has been repeatedly presented along with an unconditioned stimulus that elicits the desired response" (Farlex, 2011). This paper will describe the theory of classical conditioning and demonstrate how one would apply the classical conditioning in everyday life.

Theory of Classical Conditioning

Ivan Pavlov, a Russian physiologist, was performing research on the digestive system of a dog by using the data from the dog's salivation when in the middle of these tests he by accident noticed that certain behaviors can be conditioned (Alloy, Riskind, & Manos, 2005).

First, one must understand that behaviorism in psychology is based on the belief that learning happens through relations with the environment (Cherry, 2011). Pavlov found that several of the reactions were occurring due to prior learning. He obtained this important information by noting that the dogs would salivate even before they were offered the meat. Pavlov concluded that the dogs were conditioned and learned from the entrance of the lab assistant, who was generally the person who brought in the meat. He expanded his experiment further by introducing a bright light or a loud sound to see if the dogs would salivate when seeing them but they did not. During another experiment Pavlov would make a loud sound right before giving the dog the meat. Sooner or later, the dog would relate the sound with the meat and begin to salivate at the sound. This is...