Contributions Of John Watson And Ivan Pavlov

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Classical Conditioning: Contributions of John Watson and Ivan Pavlov
Ian Pavlov (1849-1936) was a Russian physiologist who discovered classical conditioning. The theory involves the process of an organism learning to associate one neutral stimuli and one reactive stimuli together. For example, Pavlov found that dogs would often salivate in before they were given any food. Usually, the dogs would salivate when they put the food into their mouths, this is an unconditioned reflex in which the food is and unconditioned stimulus (UCS) and in turn the salivation was the unconditioned response (UCR) - an unlearned reaction.

Pavlov tested his theory by training dogs to salivate to stimuli that isn’t usually associated with salivation itself. He
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This happened when the rats associated certain foods and tastes to an unpleasant, nauseating response, often caused by toxic substances. He did this by treating them a saccharine-flavoured solution (CS) before giving them apomorphine (UCS) which induced severe intestinal illness. Soon enough the rats began to become very ill, when they were given the solution alone, succeeding in a conditioned response. This technique became very popular in aversion therapy, used to treat an unwanted behaviour such as overeating, drug and alcohol abuse and in extreme cases: even sexual perversions. The therapy includes creating a conditioned response, such as vomiting to the behaviour they wish to diminish. By doing this, it is expected that by giving the patient an emetic or electric shock while inciting said behaviour, they will eventually be discouraged by it and no longer need the emetic or electric shock, because they have already associated the response caused by the initial methods to that behaviour, and so come to avoid …show more content…
The theory is deterministic and allows the individual no degree of free will, because they are not in control of their reactions and phobias learned through classical conditioning. However, one strength is that the theory is highly scientific because of the empirical evidence based on the controlled lab experiments conducted. But again, its theory is very weak in that it limits its understanding of human behaviour in terms of nature vs nurture and underestimates how complex human behaviour

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