Classical Conditioning How It Works With Examples

Pavlov who trained dogs to salivate in response to two stimuli, noise or light, and food or a sour solution. John B. Watson, considered as the father of behaviorism, conducted an experiment with an 11-month-old child, Albert. He presented the child with a loud frightening bang and a rat at the same time. After six or seven repetitions of the noise and rat together over a week, the child became afraid of the rat, which he was not earlier.1. Conditioned fear and anxiety – the phobias that many people experience are due to conditioning. We can consider an example of a child and his father traveling in a plane. The father jokes about how the plane can crash. Since he finds it very funny, he decides to say it whenever they travel on a plane. Many years later, even though the child has grown up, he is afraid to travel on a plane. Conditioning has caused fear.2. Advertising – In a beer advertisement featuring a young attractive woman wearing a bikini, the woman (US-unconditioned stimulus) evokes a mildly aroused feeling (UR-unconditioned response) in most men. The beer is associated with the classical conditioning effect. (Classical Conditioning, 1996.)Waschulewski-Floruss H, Miltner W, 1994, investigated whether experimental pain responses can be conditioned using auditory stimuli in a differential trace conditioning paradigm in 16 healthy subjects. An intracutaneous electrical stimulus applied to the left middle-finger (10 ms duration) was the UCS. Tones of 1000 and 1400 Hz were used as CS+ and CS-, respectively. A trace conditioning paradigm was used with an 800 ms interval between CS and UCS. Twenty-nine electrode sites recorded somatosensory event-related potentials (SEP) and auditory event-related potentials (AEP). Subjective pain reports were noted.