Ivan Pavlov

Classical Conditioning

Pavlov's Dogs

Ivan Pavlov discovered classical conditioning by mistake. He understood that his dogs would begin to salivate at the site of food. The food was known as the unconditioned stimulus, and the saliva was the unconditioned response. However, he began to notice his dogs would salivate whenever he walked in the room. He knew that this type of behavior had to have been learned by the dogs since they did not do it before his experiment. So, he decided to do the experiment using a bell as the neutral stimulus. When he fed his dogs, he would ring a bell. The bell became a conditioned stimulus because the dogs learned to associate it with food. Their salivation became the conditioned response because Pavlov was able to ring a bell and make his dogs salivate. Therefore, classical conditioning is about learning how to make the same response come out of a conditioned stimulus as well as the unconditioned stimulus that is not learned.

Classical Conditioning Today

About Pavlov

-Born September 14, 1849 in Russia

-Left his religious career for science

-He was inspired by the evolutionary beliefs of Charles Darwin

-Awarded a gold medal for his work in pancreatic nerves

-Awarded for his work with conditioned reflexes

-His behavioral theory is still used to explain human behavior today

-He died in Leningrad on February 27, 1936