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Pavlov's Classical Conditioning Theory | Pavlov Theory of Classical Conditioning


Pavlov's Classical Conditioning Theory | Pavlov Theory of Classical Conditioning


IP Pavlov (IP Pavlov) was a Russian physiologist, who started studying the physiology of digestion in particular, and his study became so important and popular that he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1904 for it .

Pavlov considered conditioning to be the basis of his learning theory. Conditioning is a process by which an association is established between the stimulus and the response . This conditioning theory of Pavlov 's learning is called classical conditioning theory or respondent conditioning theory .

According to Pavlov 's theory, a natural stimulus, when presented in front of a learning animal, makes a natural response to it. For example, pulling the hand away after touching a hot utensil and salivation in the mouth after seeing food when hungry are examples of some other such actions.

Pavlov's experiment on the dog 


To demonstrate natural stimuli, Pavlov conducted a dog experiment in which a hungry dog ​​was made to stand on a special apparatus in a sound-controlled laboratory.

Food was brought in front of the dog and since the dog was hungry, it used to drool on seeing the food.

After a few attempts, a bell was rung before the food was given.

This process was repeated for a few days and it was observed that saliva started coming out of the dog's mouth just on the sound of the bell without food coming.


According to Pavlov , the dog had learned the salivation response to the sound of the bell.

According to him, a new association was established between the sound of the bell and the secretion of saliva, which was termed as conditioning.

Pavlov termed the increase in secretion from the natural stimulus food with the sound of a bell as the conditioned stimulus (Reinforcement). Pavlov called this process of learning a conditioned reflex.

Today's psychologists call this classical conditioning . According to this theory, it is not necessary to have a stimulus for learning, there is also a response to a conditioned stimulus, and in its true sense, the response to a conditioned stimulus is learning. Psychologists call this type of learning conditioned learning .


Features of Classical Conditioning Theory 


  • Conditioning theory is based on affiliative reflexes. Small children usually learn in this way.
  • This theory emphasizes that if a conditioned stimulus is used along with a natural stimulus, the natural response is enhanced.
  • This theory emphasizes conditioning and reinforcement. Reinforcement speeds up learning and conditioning makes learning permanent.
  • According to this theory, there must be a relationship between the conditioned stimulus and the conditioned response for learning to occur.
  • By the technique of classical conditioning, good habits can be substituted in place of the bad habits of the children.


Drawbacks of Classical Conditioning Theory 


  • This principle has been propounded by experimenting on animals and it has been confirmed by experimenting on children, so it is not fully applicable to the learning process of matured humans.
  • In this theory, man has been considered as a biological machine and his learning process has been considered as a mechanical process, so it does not explain the thinking and logical learning process of man.
  • Learning through conditioned response is not permanent.
  • The process of conditioning takes place only under certain circumstances, whereas the process of learning naturally goes on all the time.
  • This theory does not correctly explain the learning process of human beings.


Utility in Teaching Classical Conditioning Theory 


  • This theory emphasizes action conditioning and reinforcement in learning. This makes the learning process effective.
  • This theory emphasizes the use of teaching aids in teaching subjects and the use of rewards and punishments in establishing discipline.
  • With this method such subjects can be easily taught which do not require intelligence, thinking and logic.
  • Bad habits of children can be replaced with good habits by classical conditioning and mental diseases like fear can be removed.
  • Socialization of children can be done easily through classical conditioning.