Classical Conditioning

    The famous physiologist Ivan Pavlov is known for his work studying the effects of classical conditioning. In Chapter 4, we learn in great detail about how classical conditioning works and the different aspects that come into play. Classical conditioning is when a physiological stimulus is paired with a neutral stimulus. When conditioned this way, someone has a naturally occurring reflex or a learned response to something. When we think of classical conditioning, our minds may automatically go to Pavlov’s experiment involving dog food and a bell. However, there are many examples of classical conditioning that happen in our everyday lives. 

    When something like a traumatic event happens to us, it can create a phobia of that thing. It can also create a conditioned response. For example, if a boy were to get stung by a bee, he would now have negative feelings toward it.  Every time he saw a bee from that point forward, he would be afraid of it. To everyone else, bees are neutral stimuli. It doesn't always have to be negative. Another example is when realtors bake cookies for an open house, we walk in and it smells like home. The atmosphere is familiar even though we’ve never been there before. Lastly, when we pick up our keys and head to the door, our dogs often think they’re accompanying us. They have this reflex from all of the times their owner takes them on walks. Classical conditioning can be negative as well as positive. In conclusion, we are conditioned throughout our lives by our experiences and associations with things. 

Walters, S. (2020). 6.1 Learning by Association: Classical Conditioning. Psychology-1st Canadian Edition.


  1. I like learning about classic conditioning and especially Pavlov when he cut off the dogs head and kept it alive separate but classical conditioning is the building block of psychology and is very useful too know.


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