Classical Conditioning Paper

1235 Words Sep 14th, 2011 5 Pages
Classical Conditioning Paper
Lakeshia Jackson
Psy 390
August 1, 2011
Gary Burk

Classical Conditioning Paper
Although classical conditioning is something that most people experience in a daily basis, it may also be the first thing someone remembers in a day. According to Olson and Hergenhahn (2009) classical conditioning is defined as a type of learning in which a neutral stimulus comes to elicit a response after being paired with a stimulus that naturally brings about that response. In this paper the subject is to describe the theory of classical conditioning as well as describing a scenario in which one could apply classical conditioning theory to, and bring forth the scenario by showing illustrations of how this could be used
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This is known as the unconditioned stimulus (UCS). Meat is the unconditioned stimulus because at the sight of the meat the dogs begin to salivate (Feldman, 2010). The dog’s response to the meat educes salivation and is known as the unconditioned response (UCR). An unconditioned response is defined as a reflexive and natural response that is not connected to prior learning. Unconditioned responses always occur in the presence of the unconditioned stimulus (Feldman, 2010). While conditioning the dogs, Pavlov would ring a bell right before the presentation of meat. Eventually, the dogs would associate the ringing of the bell with the meat. Therefore, the dogs would begin to salivate at the sound of the bell. At this point, Pavlov could state that he had classically conditioned his dogs. The bell which was a prior neutral stimulus had now become the conditioned stimulus (CS) that brought forth the conditioned response (CR) of salivation (Feldman, 2010). Moreover, we have to ask what would happen if these poor dogs were never again received food upon the ringing of the bell. This would lead to extinction. Extinction occurs when a prior conditioned response decreases in frequency and eventually disappears (Feldman, 2010). In order for Pavlov to unconditioned his dogs he would have to break their association with the sound of the ringing bell and the presentation of food. To do so he