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IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT SALIVATING DOGS!

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by

Cole Land

on 27 October 2013

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Transcript of IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT SALIVATING DOGS!

ALTERNATE ASSESSMENT
COLE LAND

THE QUESTION
In this experiment, Pavlov was interested in reflexes, in particular unconditioned and conditioned. He learned that unconditioned reflexes were formed by an unconditioned stimulus(UCS) producing and unconditioned response(UCR). He found that conditioned reflexes consist of a conditioned stimulus producing a conditioned response. Pavlov wanted to answer this question: Conditioned reflexes are not inborn, so exactly how are they acquired?
Summary
To achieve the answer to his question, Pavlov started by building a laboratory that was soundproof which allowed for complete isolation of the subjects, dogs, from the experimenters and from all extraneous stimuli during the experimental procedures. Pavlov then chose food as the unconditioned response of salivation which will elicit the unconditioned response of salivation. Then he needed to find a neutral stimulus which was completely unrelated to food for the dogs. He satisfied this need using the sound of a metronome. Over several trials the dog was exposed to the ticking of the metronome and then immediately presented with food. "A stimulus which was neutral itself had been superimposed upon the action of the inborn alimentary reflex." Then, after several repetitions of the combined stimulation, just the sounds of the metronome had acquired the property of stimulating salivary secretion. In other words, the sound of the metronome had become a conditioned stimulus for the conditioned response of salivation.
SIGNIFICANCE/CRITICISM
SIGNIFICANCE: The theory of classical conditioning (also called Pavlovian conditioning) is universally accepted and has remained virtually unchanged since its conception through Pavlov's work. It is used to explain and interpret a wide range of human behaviors, including where phobias come from, why you dislike certain foods, the source of your emotions, how advertising works, why you feel anxiety, and what arouses you sexually. His theories of classical conditioning explained a major portion of human behavior and helped to launch psychology as a true science.
CRITICISM: Using animals, like Pavlov did, may be criticized because many believe it could be considered animal cruelty and many people are against using animals for scientific experiments, especially if it is altering the animal’s natural instincts. Some believe that this act is unnatural and could alter the way an animal acts to the point in which it affects the survival of that animal, for example its eating habits.
IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT SALIVATING DOGS!
PAVLOV, I. P. (1927)- CONDITIONED REFLEXES
FURTHER RESEARCH/APPLICATION
Another study that rests directly on Pavlov's theory of classical conditioning is John B. Watson's conditioning of 11-month-old Little Albert. He wanted to condition Albert to fear a white rat by employing the same principles Pavlov used to condition salivation in the dogs. By doing this, Watson demonstrated how emotions, such as fear, are formed. Another potentially vital area of research involving classical conditioning is in the field of behavioral medicine. Studies have suggested that the activity of the immune system can be altered using Pavlovian principles.
LEARNING
From this study, I learned that you can teach people or animals certain behaviors and reactions in response to certain stimuli. The mind can be conditioned to act a certain way. This helps me broaden my knowledge of the brain and how it works, and puts a picture of conditioning the mind in actual situations into my head, putting theory and ideas into actual events and actions. It also helps me to understand why people may react to certain things that to me personal gets no reaction.
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