Pavlovian Conditioning

Pavlovian Conditioning : Lucidly Explained

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Doctor Ivan Pavlov conducted a famous study in the field of Behavioral Psychology referred to as classical conditioning. He later won Nobel in 1904. Classical conditioning is associated with behaviorism.

We have two types of responses one which voluntary and other which is involuntary. These Responses are invoked with respect to a stimulus. To understand Dr. Ivan Pavlov study there are two things:

1.    Unconditioned stimulus, a stimulus which naturally and unconditionally triggers a target response.

2.    Conditioned stimulus is an alternative stimulus to the natural stimulus (which is unconditional stimulus) which evokes the same response as that when a natural stimulus is produced.

 

Pavlovian Experiment summary: Doctor Pavlov conducted an experiment with dogs where food was put in front of dogs and the bell was rung to indicate that food was present.

The food was accompanied with a sound of the bell which produced eventually produced a conditioned stimulus. The dogs used to salivate whenever food was kept in front of them, this is what can be categorized as an Unconditional response.

However, whenever food was presented the bell rang. This eventually made dogs associate food with bell and made them salivate even when only when the bell rang even if no food was presented. This is known as conditioned stimuli.

In dogs, the bell ringing which was alternative stimuli produced a natural response which was salivating when they used to see food. So, when the bell rang dogs were salivating if or if not the food was present.

Where is classical conditioning is being used?

1.    Drug abuse/ alcoholics, people are conditioned to limit/reduce drug abuse or reduce alcohol consumption.

2.    Stopping or eliminating bad habits.

3.    Training armed forces and military.

4.    Coping up with addictions

5.    Is being used to train wild animals to not encroach neighboring agricultural fields.

6.    Improving Learning Behavior and Education sector.

7.   Promoting vegetarianism or vegan lifestyle and many more.

Pavlovian conditioning is one of the most crucial study/experiment in the field of psychology, especially behavioral psychology. That has contributed to various sectors in the industry be it education, military, consumer industry, etc.