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M2D1 Writing Assignment: Pavlov and Classical Conditioning (Essay Sample)

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Share with the class the information you found on Ivan Pavlov. What was his main contribution to the concept of classical conditioning? Describe the basic procedures of classical conditioning and identify Pavlov's classic study.

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M2D1: Pavlov and Classical Conditioning
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M2D1: Pavlov and Classical Conditioning
Ian Pavlov played a key role in formulating the concept of classical conditioning. However, it is noteworthy that classical conditioning, also called Pavlovian conditioning or associational conditioning was accidentally discovered. In this regard, Pavlov discovered that his dogs salivated whenever they saw his lab assistants who used to feed them. He later on tried to ring a bell whenever he fed his dogs and realized that such dogs started to salivate whenever the bell was rung even if they did not see or smell food (McLeod, 2007). Classical conditioning refers to the modifying of behavior in order to pair a conditioned stimulus with an unconditioned one so as to provoke an unconditioned behavior from an organism (Aquinas, 2006). Conditioning is loosely used to refer to learning, a relatively permanent change in an organism’s knowledge or behavior occurring as a result of the organism’s experience. In simpler terms, classical conditioning is the learning that occurs whenever a neutral stimulus generates a conditioned response due to its association or pairing with an unconditioned stimulus. It occurs when two events occur closely in time. Unconditioned stimulus (US) refers to a stimulus that generates a reflective/automatic/autonomic response in a certain organism (Schallhorn, 2012), such as food in the case Pavlov’s dogs. On the other hand, conditioned stimulus (CS) refers to anything that an organism can perceive (taste, see, feel, smell, or hear). A conditioned response (CR) can be generated by pairing anything (neutral stimuli) with an unconditioned stimuli (UCS) (Schallhorn, 2012). For instance, Pavlov p...
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