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Classical conditioning

Classical conditioning (also known as Pavlovian or respondent conditioning) refers to a learning procedure in which a biologically potent stimulus (e.g. food) is paired with a previously neutral stimulus (e.g. a bell). It also refers to the learning process that results from this pairing, through which the neutral stimulus comes to elicit a response (e.g. salivation) that is usually similar to the one elicited by the potent stimulus. These basic facts, which require many qualifications (see below), were first studied in detail by Ivan Pavlov through experiments with dogs. Together with operant conditioning, classical conditioning became the foundation of behaviorism, a school of psychology which was dominant in the mid-20th century and is still an important influence on the practice of psychological therapy and the study of animal behavior. Classical conditioning is a basic learning process, and its neural substrates are now beginning to be understood.

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We learned about Pavlov and classical conditioning in AP Psych last month. Yes, we learned about the salivating dogs, but here is a more entertaining (but still completely accurate) example. Gotta love Dwight!

Contributed by Megan Turner

This is a classical and Operant Conditioning project I did for my Psychology class.

Contributed by Akiel Hunte

For my 8th grade school science fair I studied Classical Conditioning and applied it to volunteer classmates using a desk bell and red pepper flakes. I would have them consume enough flakes to feel the spicy sensation on their tongue while ringing the desk bell then wait for the sensation to go away. I repeated this process three times. For the fourth time, I did not give them the red pepper flakes but rang the desk bell. The ringing of the desk bell triggered, much to each subject's surprise, the spicy sensation on each subject's tongue. My use of Pavlov's Classical Conditioning won me first place in my school science fair. This video is a short, descriptive presentation of Classical Conditioning.

Contributed by Cheyanne Charette

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