Clasical conditioning

We can see learning taking place all the time, but there is no simple explanation of the process. Psychologists have examined four types of learning; one of these is classical conditioning or response learning. Classical conditioning is the easiest kind of learning. Classical conditioning is based on experiments that took place in the 1900s by the Russian physiologist Ivan P. Pavlov. He trained dogs to salivate at signals such as lights, tones, or buzzers by using the signals when he gave food to the dog. Pavlov called the learned response a conditional response because it depended on the conditions of the stimulus.

This learning process is based on stimulus response relationships. A stimulus is an object or a situation that excites one of our sense organs. A light is a stimulus because it excites the retina of the eye, allowing us to see. Sometimes a stimulus makes a person respond in a certain way, as when a flash of light makes us blink. Psychologists say that the stimulus draws forth the response.

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In classical conditioning, learning happens when a new stimulus draws forth behavior similar to the original stimulus. For instance I taste some lemon juice, which makes me salivate. While I taste the lemon juice bells are rung. Suppose these two stimuli, the lemon juice and the bells, occur together many times. Eventually, the bells that ring from chapel makes me salivate. Classical conditioning has occurred because the new stimulus (the bells) draws forth the response of the salivation the same way the lemon juice did.

Any condition that makes learning occur is said to reinforce the learning. When I learn to salivate to the chapel bells, the reinforcement is the lemon juice that the bells are paired with. Without the lemon juice, I would not learn to salivate to the bells that I hear from the chapel.

In conclusion, learning is a very important field of study in psychology. The classical conditioning process is important in understanding how we learn emotional behavior. Psychologists define learning as the process by which changes in behavior result from experience or practice. Everyone should know that if you practice enough you could accomplish anything.