Classical Conditioning

1071 words 5 pages
Classical Conditioning

Chad D Zollo


March 4, 2013
Kay Rubin

Classical conditioning (also referred to as “Pavlovian conditioning”), is a theory from the psychology school of behaviorism which states environmental and physical interactions cause the process of learning. First argued by Ivan Pavlov, the theory of classical conditioning is one of the most widely accepted (and laboratory tested) aspects of behavioral learning theory involving associations of stimuli and response as the means of a process of learning; these stimuli and responses can be either conditioned (intentionally learned) or unconditioned (naturally occurring). Classical conditioning principles can be used in a number of ways including
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An example of an unconditioned response would be a person blinking when wind blows into his or her eye (natural, instinctual response); an example of a conditioned response would be the same person blinking when the audible tone is sounded before the wind blows into his or her eye. With the introduction of the audible tone as conditioned stimuli, the subject has been trained to associate the tone with the wind and elicits the conditioned response of blinking before the wind is present (Malaka, 1999).
Conditioning Scenario As Pavlov first stated in his theory, the stimuli-response relationship of classical conditioning is capable of shaping learning and training via any desired response utilizing specific, measured, and intentional stimuli. Behavioral theorists argue that classical conditioning principles can be applied in any number of ways in which learning and training are involved such as extinguishing bad habits, treating phobias, and creating positive environments for education or work (Gallistel & Gibbon, 2000). In the scenario of utilizing theories of classical conditioning in order to extinguish a bad habit such as smoking, reinforcement determines if the behavior will remain or become extinct; therefore, in order to extinguish the habit of smoking, a conditioned stimuli must be applied to facilitate the


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