Ivan Pavlov was born in a small village called Ryzan in central Russia. Ivan Pavlov’s
family wanted and would have liked him to be a priest, but the reading of Charles Darwin
who was a scientist influenced Pavlov to become interested in the scientific field.
Although his parents did not approve his decision, Pavlov carried on with what he liked
to do. Ivan Pavlov attended the University of St.Petersburg, and there he studied
chemistry and physiology, and also he received his Doctorate there in 1879. He continued
to study and do research on his own that interested him, such as the Pavalovian
Conditioning that led him to be awarded with the noble prize for physiology and
medicine in 1904. After all his work and findings in life he came to the end of his life at
the age of 87 in 1986.
FIELD OF RESEARCHFIELD OF RESEARCH
Pavlov became a well-known psychologist after his work with dogs and
studying digestion. He developed a theory called ‘Classical’ or ‘Pavlovian
Conditiong’. In Classical Conditioning, an unconditioned stimulus (US) is an
event that causes a response to occur, which is referred to as the unconditioned
response (UR). And, in Pavlov's study with dogs, the food within the dog's
mouth is the US, and the salivation that results is the UR. Paired with the US,
Pavlov added an element known as the non-excitatory, conditioned stimulus
(CS). Pavlov used a metronome as the CS which he rang first, then fed the
dogs. After repeating this procedure several times, Pavlov was able to remove
the US (food) and by only ringing the bell the dogs would salivate (CR). Since
the bell alone now produced the unconditioned response (salivation), the
association had been established (Conditioned). Pavlov continued to present the
CS with any pairing with the US until the CR no longer occurred. This
elimination of the CR is known as extinction. However, waiting a few days and
then reintroducing ticking metronome resulted in the dogs once again salivating
to the CS. Pavlov termed this, spontaneous recovery.
The site or smell of food (the unconditioned stimulus)
causes the dog to salivate (the unconditioned response).
Ordinarily a neutral stimulus, such as a bell
ring does not cause the dog to salivate.
There is no response to food, only to a sound
where the dog may move it's ears.
We can however condition the dog to respond to the tone.
Simply ring the bell and immediately follow it with food.
This should be repeated several times.
Eventually, the dog will salivate
at the sound of the bell alone (the
The dog has associated the tone with food
and has been conditioned
IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTION TOIMPORTANT CONTRIBUTION TO
THE STUDY OF SOCIALTHE STUDY OF SOCIAL
Beginning of 1930, Pavlov tried to apply his laws to the explanation of human Psychoses. He assumed
that the excessive inhibition characteristic of a psychotic person was a protective mechanism-- shutting
out the external world – in that it excluded injurious stimuli that had previously caused extreme
In Russia this idea became the basis for treating psychiatric patients in non stimulating external
surroundings. During this period Pavlov announced the important principle of the language function in
the human as based on long chains of conditioned reflexes involving words. The function of language
involves not only words, he held, but elaboration of generalizations not possible in animals lower than
Not only was Pavlov able to stimulate salivation through the sound of a
metronome. . He replaced the metronome with other stimuli for use as the
Conditional Stimulus. He conditioned the dogs using a buzzer, the flash of a
light, a touch on the dog's harness, and the use of different pitches of a whistle
in which the dogs had to differentiate between to determine which pitch
resulted in access to food.
He also wrote a book called conditioned reflexes.
He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1904 for his
work on digestive secretions.