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Pavlov was studying digestion in dogs- he wasn't originally intended to study conditioning.
He presented food in a bowl to a dog several times.
In the end the dog salivated even when the bowl was empty. Pavlov had conditioned it to salivate to an empty bowl.
Pavlov then decided to further his research by giving the dogs food at the same as ringing a bell (a neutral stimulus).
After several times, the dogs salivated (a response) to the bell. The dogs associated the bell with salivation.
Normally, footsteps and a bell would not cause a dog to salivate, would they? However the dogs learned to associate the footsteps and the bell with the food and, hence they salivated when these stimuli were present.
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