Classical Conditioning

Activities in Module 6 for November 18th

INSTRUCT: Classical Conditioning

Say hello to Elvis! Elvis is my four year old bloodhound. I happen to think he is the perfect dog - with one exception - he slobbers at the slightest stimulus!

Every time we begin to talk about classical conditioning, and especially when we discuss Pavlov's experiments with dogs, bells, food, and salivation, I laugh about Elvis because he is a perfect illustration of the theories demonstrated by Pavlov and others that followed.

Pavlov repeatedly presented a neutral stimulus (such as a tone) just before an unconditioned stimulus (UCS, food) that triggered an unconditioned response (UCR, salivation). After several repetitions, the tone alone (now the conditioned stimulus, CS) triggered a conditioned response (CR, salivation).

Elvis is a big boy - he weighed 150 lbs at his last physical! Because we knew he would get so big, we took him to obedience school as a pup. The trainer encouraged us to find treats for Elvis to reward desired behaviors - and they worked! However, we ended up with a frequent conditioned response. If Elvis sits, he slobbers (waiting for that treat). Same thing with lying down, heeling... Another fun (?) event that became a conditioned stimulus (CS) is opening the freezer (Elvis likes ice)!

We've "learned" to deal with Elvis' responses - I keep a towel by the back door and we have a ritual drool wiping whenever he comes in - who do you think is conditioned now?

INFORM - Assignments & Activities today and this week

There are a number of activities in your course this week designed to help you learn all about Learning. Remember that all activities are required! Please don't skip doing an activity because there is not a submission to be graded - ALL of these items should be completed to help you with the material presented in this Module.

  • Today's submissions include both the vocabulary wiki AND the individual vocabulary submission. BOTH are required.
  • A tip for this module: Do ALL the vocabulary by hand for yourself - it really helps you learned the terms and differentiate between similar concepts.
  • Don't forget the follow activities to learn more about Pavlov and his experiments!


Congratulations to the following students for working ahead and submitting their vocab early!

Keyshon, Shane, Caroline, Dustin, Jordon La, Jordan Le, Carly, Anna, RaeLeigh, Jakala, and Cori - well done!