Ivan Pavlov

Birth/Death Dates

Ivan Pavlov was born on September 14, 1849 in Ryazan, Russia. He was born into a large family who faced poverty. He began school at Ryazan Ecclesiastical High School and enrolled to the University of St. Pertersburg. His earliest studies were based in theology but he became interested in natural science after being introduced to the works of Charles Darwin and Ivan Sechenov. During his third year at the university, he gained a great respect for a professor named Cyon and decided to become a physiologist. He was also influenced by the Philsophy of the mind later in his studies which led him to more research. After finding what he really wanted to learn more about he became an assistant in a laboratory where his research began. Pavlov died in 1936 on Feburary 27, in Leningrad.

Contribution to Psychology

Pavlov's research on the physiology of digestion led to the developement of the first experimental model of learning, Classical Conditioning. Also, Pavlov's discovery and research on reflexes influenced the growing behaviorist movement. While studying salivating dogs, he gained most of his research. His research eventually earned him the Nobel Prize. He also established the basis for conditioned reflexes.

Interesting discovery...

In 1833, Pavlov discovered dynamic nerves of the heart. He presented his doctor's thesis on the subject of The centrifugal nerves of the heart. He was able to show that there was a basic pattern in the reflex regulation of the activity of the circulatory organ.

How his research applies to things today.

Pavlov established the theory of classical conditioning through his research which is used in many aspects of society. It emphasizes the importance of learning from the environment and it aslo supports nurture over nature. This theory involes learning a new behavior by the process of association. It is deterministic which means that it does not allow for any degree of freewill in the individual. His research led to the development of important behavior therapy techniques , which focus on a set of methods designed to reinforce desired and eliminate undesired behaviors techniques, such as flooding and desensitizing which applied to people who have fear and anxiety.