Pavlov's Classical Conditioning

1885 Words 8 Pages
Erinn Payne
Pavlov’s Classical Conditioning
Classical conditioning refers to a kind of learning in which a stimulus obtains the ability to evoke a response which was initially evoked by a different stimulus (Weiten, 2010, p. 225). Classical conditioning is a learning theory developed by Ivan Pavlov (Olson & Hergenhahn, 2009, p.30), a Russian physiologist, in about 1900 (Weiten, 2010, p. 225) when he made an accidental discovery upon noticing that dogs salivate at the sight of food during his study of the digestive tract (Weiten, 2010, p. 225). Pavlov’s classical conditioning formed an integral part of modern day education techniques and theories. Key concepts form the foundation of this theory, making it easier to put into practice and emphasising
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Classical conditioning still has many practical uses in the modern-day classroom (Skinner, 1968, p. 704). Classical conditioning can be used to condition students to behave in a certain way. For example: If a teacher wishes to teach his or her students to keep quiet in a classroom, the teacher can come up with a way to condition them to do so. While a students in a class are being rowdy and boisterous, a teacher can instruct the class to quiet down; this will be the UCS. The class will, in turn, quiet down, which will be the UCR. If the teacher begins to always clap three times before telling the class to quiet down, the children will begin to respond to the combination of the instruction and the claps. After continuous repetition, the teacher can begin clapping – which can be identified as the CS – alone, without combining it with instructing the class to quiet down. The class, which has associated the sound of clapping with the instruction to quiet down, will react to the clapping alone – the CR. Thus, classical conditioning has been used to condition the class to keep quiet by responding to simply the sound of clapping three times rather than to the instruction to quiet …show more content…
Pavlovian conditioning can be used to condition students in a classroom to behave in a certain way, or react to a stimulus or situation accordingly. Additionally, classical conditioning can be used to instil both positive and negative emotions and emotionally linked feelings in children (Weiten, 2010, p. 227) such as fears (Weiten, 2010, p.227). Teachers can apply classical conditioning in classrooms in order to condition children to fear not doing their homework, or to help children overcome their fears or worries (Skinner, 1968, p. 435). These numerous practical uses form part of the reason as to why Pavlov’s learning theory continues to form the foundation of modern day teaching techniques and

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