Classical Conditioning

Classical conditioning is a simple associative learning process first systematically investigated by Ivan Pavlov (1849–1936). Pavlov was a Russian physiologist who studied the digestive processes in dogs and who incidentally noticed that dogs salivated not only to the presentation of food but also upon hearing the footsteps of the research assistant bringing the food. In follow-up laboratory studies of conditioning, Pavlov and his associates presented a neutral sound of a beating metronome (the conditioned stimulus [CS]) followed by the presentation of food (the unconditioned stimulus [UCS]), which elicited salivation (the unconditioned response [UCR]). After several CS-UCS pairings, the sound of the metronome began to elicit salivation (the conditioned responses [CR]), which it had never done before. The dog was classically conditioned to salivate to the ...

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