Conditioning in psychology is a term that refers to a behavioral process where a response becomes more predictable or frequent when subjected to a given stimulus for a particular environment. For instance, the prominent Russian psychologist, Ian Pavlov provided a traditional framework for which the conditioning theory can be studied. In his experiment, Pavlov placed a dog in a harness within a sound-shielded room. On each sound of a bell, it is accompanied by food powder that is blowninto the mouth of the dog. The bell’s sound, in this case, is a conditional stimulus. A conditional stimulus refers to a previously neutral stimulus that once associated with an unconditional stimulus triggers a response known as a conditional response. In the Pavlov experiment, the conditional response was the salivating of the dog once it heard the bell being rung (Bouton, 2007). However, the dog’s first response of salivation that resulted from the introduction of food towards its mouth is known as the unconditional response. An unconditional response thus refers to something that causes a natural or automatic response. The unconditional response is derived from the unconditional stimulus which in our case is food that was given to the dog.
Rescorla-Wegner model explains circumstances in which Pavlov conditioning occurs (Bouton, 2007). It describes the changes in associative strength between signals that are c…
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