Classical conditioning is a type of learning involving five components: a neutral stimulus, unconditional stimulus, unconditional response, conditional stimulus, and a conditional response. In Pavlov's classical conditioning case he started with a metronome as a neutral stimulus which he transformed into a conditional stimulus with the use of meat powder. The meat powder in this case is the unconditional stimulus because it triggers the unconditional response of salivation from the dog. After repeatedly pairing the metronome with meat powder the dog started to salivate after only hearing the previously neutral stimulus. Research findings like these are important because it shows how much influence we can have over someone or something's mind. By pairing a neutral stimulus with an unconditional response we can produce the reaction that we desire. There are many real world applications for this research; for example, when people try to train their dogs or in the conquering of phobias. Say I am deathly afraid of giving public speeches, if I were in a calm environment with people that I am familiar with I would have less anxiety than if I were in a room with people that I don't know.
The process of classical conditioning came up while I was watching one of my favorite television shows, The Office. In this modern case of classical conditioning, Jim Halpert trains his co-worker Dwight Shrute to expect a reward every time he powers down his computer.
- Here is the link to the video: http://vimeo.com/5371237