Pavlov’s Classical Conditioning
Ivan Petrovich Pavlov (1849 – February 27, 1936)
Famous Russian physiologist.
Classical conditioning - a type of learning in which an organism learns to
connect or associate, stimuli.
To fully understand Pavlov‟s (1927) theory of
classical conditioning we need to understand
two types of stimuli and two types of
Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS)
A stimulus that automatically produces a response without
any prior learning.
(Food was the UCS in Pavlov‟s esperiment)
Unconditioned Response (UCR)
An unlearned response that is automatically elicited by the
UCS. (the dog‟s salivation in response to food was the UCR)
Conditioned Stimulus (CS)
A previously neutral stimulus (NS) that eventually elicits
a conditioned response after being associated with the UCS.
Classical Conditioning in the
In reality, people do not respond exactly like Pavlov‟s dogs. There
are, however, numerous real-world applications for classical
In Training Animals:
Training a cat to come to it‟s food when it hears it‟s food bowl
Walking past the Mc Donnalds golden arches and feeling hungry
because you associate the golden arches sign with the food they
serve in the Mc Donnalds restaurant.
1. Acquisition : Forming New Responses.
: acquisition of a conditioned
response depends on the time factor that
linked between two events.
(1965) : discovered that
conditioning is most likely to occur when
the conditioned stimulus (CS) begins
about a half-second before the
unconditioned stimulus (UCS) and stops
at the same time as UCS.
every linking of CS and USC will
produce acquisition of classical
stimuli that are,
2.Extinction : Weakening
a conditioned response (salivation) will disappear over
time when the conditioned stimulus (bell) is no longer
The response is the result of gradual weakening and
vanishing of a conditioned response.
As an example, after conditioning, the bell continues to
ring at certain intermission without any meat powder
given, and the rate of salivation would gradually reduce
and finally stop after a period of time.
3. Spontaneous Recovery :
The reappearance of salivation which was
extinct after a long period of non
appearance of the bell.
Pavlov‟s observation :
4. Stimulus Generalization.
refers to the conditioned response of an organism that
applies not only to the real, original conditioned
stimulus, but also to other stimuli that are alike.
after conditioning, there are possibilities for Pavlov‟s
dog to respond to different kind of bell sound in
stimulus generalization occurs when an individual is
able to respond the same way to any other stimuli that
are similar with the original stimuli.
5. Stimulus Discrimination.
an individual will not respond the same way as
the original stimuli when they met with a new
stimuli that are similar.
The lesser similarities of the new stimuli is to
the original conditioned stimuli, the greater is
the chance for stimulus discrimination to occur.
As an example, the sound of the gong compared
with the bell.
On the other hand, if the new stimulus were
quite similar with the original conditioned
stimulus, then stimulus generalization would
6. Higher-Order Conditioning.
It refers to a new conditioned response which is
built on the foundation of learned response.
It is a conditioned response which functions as
an unconditioned stimulus.
As an example, in Pavlov‟s experiment, he links
the conditioned stimulus (sound of the bell)
with red light.
CS : RED LIGHT
CR : SALIVATION
CS : BELL
CS : RED LIGHT
Implications of Pavlov‟s Conditioning
Theory in Teaching Learning
Science Teacher (UCS)
teaching in the class for
the first time.
Teacher (CS) teaching in an
(pupil‟s attention) towards
the teaching activities only.
Pupils pay attention to
teacher‟s teaching (CR).
Teacher‟s presence (CS).
Pupils pay attention to
teacher‟s teaching (CR)
“book” verbally expressed
-- UCS -->
expressed by the
Pupils expressed “book”
J. B. Watson (1878-1958)
An American psychologist.
The first person to use the term „behaviourism‟ to
study human behaviour.
Research - influenced by Pavlov‟s Classical Conditioning
Famous research – related to children‟s emotion
Emotion learning: Stimulus
People inherit three kinds of basic emotions:
Human emotion can be learned through the process
Together with colleague, Rosalie Rayner (1920), they
used a nine-month old baby, named Little Albert and a
white tame mouse to conduct the experiment.
A white mouse was brought to Little Albert whom he
showed interest to play with.
As soon as the white mouse was shown to Albert the
second time, a loud, startling sound was emitted all of
a sudden from the back.
Immediately, Albert‟s reaction was panic and
After conditioned response was established, Little
Albert began to show fear of the white mouse itself.
Implications of Watson‟s Learning
Theory in Teaching and Learning
All types of behaviour can be learned through
conditioning process. Positive behaviour can be
taught by using suitable stimulus.
Pupils ought to relate the relationship between
all responses systematically in order to master
the skill of solving problems.
3. More exercises should be carried out after
learning in order to strengthen what has been
learned in the memory
4. Teacher should use suitable stimulus during
the teaching process to motivate pupils in
learning, and at the same time, avoid using
stimulus which will produce negative effect.