Psychology Question


Classical Conditioning and Ivan Pavlov (Links to an external site.)


For this discussion I’d like you each to provide an example of classical conditioning from your own experience. Remember that Pavlov stumbled onto the idea of classical conditioning after observing that his dogs started to salivate to things other than the presentation of food. It happens naturally all the time given the right conditions. So, are there times when you automatically respond to something without really thinking about it. Or have you observed such behavior in others. I remember back in High School when the bell rang for the end of class half the class would instantly stand up whether the teacher was finished or not. This could even include an automatic response from a pet, such as one that comes running into the kitchen upon hearing their food bowl being filled.


Be very specific in your example. Note the conditioned stimulus and the conditioned response. Also, discuss how you believe this conditioned response was established. What associations were formed and how did that occur? This would entail indicating the original unconditioned stimulus and response and how a connection was formed between the conditioned stimulus and the unconditioned stimulus.

The High School students example above was probably due to the following: For years the bell would ring followed by their teachers excusing them from class. They would then get up and leave. So, the teacher excusing then was the unconditioned stimulus and getting up to leave the unconditioned response. When you’re told to go the natural response is to get up and leave. The bell acted as a conditioned stimulus, reliably preceding teachers excusing their classes. Eventually the bell came to elicit the conditioned response of getting up to leave.


Grading will be based on quality of content. Did you clearly state your example and identify the unconditioned stimulus and response as well as the conditioned stimulus and response when discussing how it was established? In your responses to other students do you accurately cite principles of classical conditioning when assessing their examples?

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