The main focus of chapter six was to teach us about different models of learning. It is debatable that the most important of these models is classical conditioning. Classical conditioning is one of the first models of learning to be explained. Classical conditioning was first discovered by a Russian psychologist named Ivan Pavlov. In his experiment, Pavlov would display a piece of meat for a dog to see. He would then observe how the dog salivated when it saw the meat. Then, Pavlov paired the piece of meat with a metronome. Every time he showed the meat to the dog, he would turn the metronome on. The dog would hear the sound and then see the meat; then he would salivate. After a while, the dog would salivate every time he heard the metronome, even if he did not see the meat. The dog had been conditioned to do this. The meat had become was an unconditioned stimulus, which is a stimulus that causes an automatic response. The metronome had become a conditioned stimulus, which is a stimulus that has been conditioned to cause a response. The salivation became a conditioned response. The dog had been conditioned to salivate every time he heard the conditioned stimulus. Classical conditioning shapes a person or animal to have them respond to previously neutral stimuli that have been paired with another stimulus. This process is called acquisition. However, these responses are not always permanent. A person can get rid of the response through extinction. This happens when we repeatedly present the conditioned stimulus alone. The response gradually fades. This is not always a permanent thing though. Sometimes a person may experience spontaneous recovery. This is when the conditioned response that is thought to be extinct, appears when we see the conditioned stimulus. Most of the time the response is smaller in magnitude. People are classically conditioned to do things every day. It is one of the most important, as well as most used models of learning.
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