Learning theories study about classical conditioning.
Variations were carried out to investigate extinction and spontaneous recovery of salivation e.g. the NS, now a conditioned stimulus was presented several times without the UCS. This produced extinction.
Pavlov conducted a study in order to learn about the salivation reflex. He was particularly interested in: explaining the role of conditioned reflexes in the eating behaviour of dogs and exploring how salivation becomes associated with new stimuli that are unrelated to food and the properties of this association.
Pavlov conducted a lab experiment. This was so the saliva could be observed easily and measured either by number of drops in a cannula or volume. The procedure took place in a soundproof chamber to minimise the effects of extraneous variables e.g. noise. DV = Salivation
He measured the salivation in response to the neutral stimulus to establish a baseline e.g. a metronome or buzzer. Then the NS would be paired with the unconditioned stimulus - food , around 20 times. He varied the presentation, so the NS was presented before or after the UCS. This is known as forward and backward conditioning.