Sunday, June 24, 2012

Classical Conditioning

One of the most common facets of behavioral learning theory is classical conditioning. Classical conditioning is a learning process that occurs between associations in environmental stimulus and naturally occurring stimulus. This type of conditioning involves introducing a neutral or unconditioned stimulus before a naturally occurring response. A famous study, that was conducted to prove this theory, was conducted by Ivan Pavlov and his associations with dogs. This study involved dogs that were introduced to a variety of foods. The experiment was to measure the saliva production each time the dogs were presented with food. It occurred automatically and naturally every time the dogs were presented or thought that they were going to be presented with food.

Classical Conditioning is one of my favorite theories in psychology. Unlike other interesting topics, classical conditioning is the most appealing and fun experiment to view. I have attached a funny clip from The Office. It is a funny video that relates to this topic, I hope you enjoy!



  1. I liked the video! I also like the classic Pavlov experiment because I recently realized that my own dog has learned to salivate to a neutral stimulus. Every time my dad barbeque's chicken, he gives my dog a whole chicken breast and This Fourth of July when my dad was still prepping and getting the grill ready, I noticed my dog was sitting patiently by the grill with drool hanging from his cheeks. He's an American Bulldog and thus often drools so I didn't think much of it but an hour later, when I went back outside, my dad had put the chicken on the grill and my dog literally had drool hanging all the way to the ground. He knew what he was about to get! What's really surprising is that when my dad grilled salmon a few days later, my dog did not drool or sit by the grill. He must recognize the smell of chicken and get excited when he realizes it is going on the grill.

  2. That is so funny! My dog does something similar as well. (blame it on the dads for spoiling the dogs! haha) Everytime my dad goes into the refrigerator to get lunch meat, my dog immediately jumps up to meet my dad. Once he hears the plastic wrapping crinkle he begins to drool and bark because he knows that he's going to get a treat. If anyone else opens up the fridge he does not do the same. He only drools and begs if my dad opens the fridge.

  3. Great video. We are learning about classical conditioning in my Psychology class right now. I actually have an interesting story pertaining to the subject.
    I work at a preschool. We just started this new idea for when the kids get too rowdy, or it's time to clean up or go outside, etc. I stand and say out loud, "1, 2, 3, eyes on me." The kids know to stop whatever it is they are doing and look at me, and reply with, "1, 2, eyes on you." We have been working on this for about two weeks, and now the kids don't even have to think twice. As soon as I say it, they freeze their bodies immediately and reply without even thinking or noticing how sudden and instant that reaction is. It's amazing how fast and well the brain can train to hear or see certain things, and have an automatic response-simply by practicing over and over again.

    Matt Knobbe

  4. I also enjoyed learning about Classical Conditioning. I thought it was very interesting and very helpful to learn about. It is amazing how humans and animals can learn.