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Classical Conditioning

  • Date Submitted: 05/09/2013 04:44 AM
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Classical Conditioning


Classical conditioning is defined as a process by which a previously neutral stimulus acquires the capacity to cause a response through association with a stimulus that already causes a similar or related response (Ask.com). This form of learning was discovered accidently by Russian physiologist named Ivan Pavlov during one of his experiments. According to the video clip from the class material, Pavlov discovered this form of learning when he was experimenting on the amount of saliva that the dog makes response to the presence of food. After many repetitions of the experiments, he discovered that the dog was salivating even before the food was given. So Pavlov concluded that other factors that were repetitively associated with the food, such as plate, bell ring, or sound of footsteps, were working as stimulus to trigger the salivation.
One of the class materials, the video clip named “With a Gorilla Mask”, did great job on explaining the basic concepts of Classical conditioning. Even though the video was poorly made, it was easy to understand due to its simplicity. The video starts with the brief and unnecessary introduction that shows names of casts and explains how they will do the experiment. After that, the experiment starts. As the group of students are playing volley ball, one guy turns the particular music on. After the music plays for a bit, a guy with a gorilla mask comes in and throws a ball at one of the students then left. They repeat this process for few more times. Surprisingly, when the music was played again, just like the dog from Pavlov’s experiment that made saliva even when the food wasn’t present, students abruptly stopped playing volley ball and waited for the gorilla guy to come in. For me, the video was quite amusing since it taught me people are no different from animals when it comes to classical conditioning.
When I was learning this topic, it was interesting how there were numerous moments in my life...

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