Pavlov: Conditioning for the Ages

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In a class as informative as psych 1001, it can be difficult to filter and comprehend the amount of information being taught, but even more difficult of an endeavor is remembering the knowledge one has accumulated. But from this individual's perspective, perhaps the most vital and memorable piece of information to take away from such a course comes in the form of Pavlov's classical conditioning, the form of learning in which animals come to respond to a previously neutral stimulus that had been paired with another stimulus that elicits an automatic response. Out of all the forms of conditioning, the one that vehemently resonated with me, personally, came from Pavlovian conditioning- whether from unconditioned stimuli, which elicits an automatic response-or a conditioned stimulus, which is the initially neutral stimulus that comes to elicit a response due to association with an unconditioned stimulus. The importance from all this knowledge comes from the ability to habitually learn, or in some cases, train someone to consistently do something, which can be a powerful tool. Although Pavlov conducted the conditioning on animals of lesser intellect, this process can be used on humans of all ages. And from my personal vantage point, it's an extremely useful procedure that can change the learning habits of even the most sophisticated humans. Whether you choose to take it or leave, there is no avoiding the value in Pavlov's classical conditioning, something that can resonate in the memories of students for years. pavlov.jpg


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I too will remember Pavlovian conditioning after psych 1001. I found the learning section of the text quite interesting. When I had heard about Pavlov and his dogs, it reminded me of when I feed my cat. During this feeding time I would open the door which had a loud creak. Then typically following this, he would be fed. So every time I would open the door my cat would run out and look at me expecting food in his dish. When food was not in the dish there would be one upset cat in front of me.

Conditioned learning can be applied to so many situations, for pets and humans alike. It is very useful to know how it works so you can try it on your own. I agree with you that Pavlovian's findings are powerful. On one hand it can be good, like in the training of dogs. On the other however, it could potentially be harmful, as in the case of phobias.

What would be some specific examples of how you will use it? Do you think it changes behavior more than operant conditioning?

I also said that classical conditioning was the biggest thing that i would take away from this class. I have always found it fascinating to look at all the ways that humans have been classically conditioned. One of the best examples I can think of is when a mom sticks her head out the front door and yells her child's name which results in the kid coming home knowing that it's dinner time.

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This page contains a single entry by rezax012 published on April 29, 2012 10:20 PM.

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