Classical Conditioning and Advertising

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Ivan Pavlov, a Russian Physiologist and Nobel Prize winner (in recognition of his work on the Physiology of Digestion) discovered classical conditioning, which paved way to better understand the process of learning. Pavlov discovered that organisms respond to certain stimulus through an innate reflex but the response can also be conditioned as well. The Classical conditioning paradigm involves pairing a neutral stimulus with an unconditioned stimulus (US) which usually produces an unconditioned response (UR). After repeatedly pairing the neutral stimulus with US, neutral stimulus will become a conditioned stimulus (CS) which will then elicit a conditioned response (CR). Pavlov used dogs to further prove his theory. He decided to use the tone of the bell (CS) and paired it with food (US) which caused the dogs to salivate (UR). After repeatedly pairing the bell with food, the bell alone caused the dogs to salivate (CR). The dogs orienting response – also referred to as the orienting reflex – to the tone of the bell is that they perk up their ears and turns its sensors to where the sound is coming from. After repeated presentation of the bell, the dogs then got used to the tone of the bell and ignores it because the stimulus is of no consequence, a process he refers to as habituation. Pavlov also discovered that repeatedly pairing the CS and US (also called trials) can create a “building phase” which can strengthen the desired response. A phenomenon called acquisition. But when Pavlov's dogs hear a bell but no food is presented, the conditioned response will start to decrease and eventually stop altogether. The decrease in strength or frequency of a CR because of the failure of pairing the US and CS is a phenomenon known as extinction. Pavlov's dogs stop associating the tone of the bell to food. But Pavlov's dogs after a few days started salivating again at the

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