Classical conditioning also known as Pavlovian or respondent conditioning refers to a learning procedure in which a biologically potent stimulus e. It also refers to the learning process that results from this pairing, through which the neutral stimulus comes to elicit a response e. It is distinct from operant conditioning also called instrumental conditioning , through which the strength of a voluntary behavior is modified by reinforcement or punishment.
As a college student, B. He had hoped to become a novelist, and majored in English. Then, in , when he was twenty-three, he read an essay by H. Wells about the Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov.
Ivan Pavlov was a Russian physiologist best known in psychology for his discovery of classical conditioning. During his studies on the digestive systems of dogs, Pavlov noted that the animals salivated naturally upon the presentation of food. However, he also noted that the animals began to salivate whenever they saw the white lab coat of an experimental assistant.
By Saul McLeod , updated Like many great scientific advances, Pavlovian conditioning aka classical conditioning was discovered accidentally. During the s, Russian physiologist, Ivan Pavlov was researching salivation in dogs in response to being fed. He inserted a small test tube into the cheek of each dog to measure saliva when the dogs were fed with a powder made from meat. Pavlov predicted the dogs would salivate in response to the food placed in front of them, but he noticed that his dogs would begin to salivate whenever they heard the footsteps of his assistant who was bringing them the food. When Pavlov discovered that any object or event which the dogs learned to associate with food such as the lab assistant would trigger the same response, he realized that he had made an important scientific discovery. Accordingly, he devoted the rest of his career to studying this type of learning. Pavlov started from the idea that there are some things that a dog does not need to learn.