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The Science Behind Pavlovian Conditioning

Wednesday November 18th 2015

Classical conditioning was a major influence on the school of thought in psychology known as behaviourism. Behaviourism is based on the assumption that learning occurs through interactions with the environment.

Discovered by Russian Physiologist Ivan Pavlov, classical conditioning is a learning process that occurs through associations between an environmental stimulus and a naturally occurring stimulus.

One important thing to note about classical conditioning, it involves placing a neutral signal before a naturally occurring reflex. Pavlov used the sound of a tone as a neutral signal and the naturally occurring reflex was salivating in response to food, and by associating the neutral stimulus with the environmental stimulus, the sound of the tone alone could produce the salvation response.

Classical conditioning involves forming an association between two stimuli resulting in a learned response.

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