Classical conditioning and Pavlov's dogs

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  • Ivan Pavlov conducted an experiment in the 1900s because he observed that the dog began salivating not only to the taste of the food but by seeing the food, bowl, person delivering it or hearing the person's footsteps as they approached. An unconditioned stimulus (food in the mouth) produced an unconditioned response (salivation).
  • Pavlov then used a neutral stimulus that was not associated with food to see if the dog reacted to it. The neutral stimulus (tone) did not produce salivation.
  • Several trials were repeated...
  • He later wondered if he could make the dog salivate by command.
  • He then paired the neutral stimulus that the dog can see or hear but didn't associate with food, with food in the dog's mouth. The unconditioned stimulus (food) produced an unconditioned response (saliva).
  • The unconditioned stimulus was repeatedly presented after the neutral stimulus. The unconditioned stimulus continued to produce an unconditioned response.
  • The dog associated the tone with the food. What used to be the neutral stimulus (tone) became the conditioned stimulus and the saliva is the conditioned response. Pavlov achieved classical conditioning.
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