Classical Conditioning Essay

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Classical Conditioning Within the psychological paradigm, several types of learning exist. The most basic form is associative learning which describes the process of making new associations between events in the environment ("Index of learning theories and models," 2011). There are two forms of associative learning: classical conditioning and operant conditioning. In behaviorism, classical conditioning was the first type of learning discovered, and so named "classical" conditioning. Ivan Pavlov made the initial discoveries through his studies of the digestive system of dogs when he became intrigued by the hungry dogs' eventual learned response to Pavlov and his assistants. His investigations then focused on the dogs' associative learning from which he established his theory of classical conditioning. Classical conditioning has since found application in human behavior, both in creating specific behaviors, and in psychological treatments, extinguishing its maladaptive forms, or replacing that which is maladaptive with a more appropriate response. The Theory of Classical Conditioning Classical conditioning is a type of associative learning first studied by Ivan Pavlov ("Index of learning theories and models," 2011). Classical conditioning takes place with the repeated pairing of a stimulus with another stimulus, to evoke the response to the first stimulus with only the presentation of the second stimulus (Olson & Hergenhahn, 2009). Pavlov referred to the first stimulus as the unconditioned stimulus, which evoked an unconditioned response. It is important to note the unconditioned stimulus naturally and reflexively evokes an unlearned and unconditioned response (Huitt, n.d.). Pavlov called the second stimulus the neutral stimulus, which, with repeated pairing with the unconditioned stimulus, eventually became the conditioned stimulus by evoking a conditioned
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