CONTIGUITY

Contiguity is 'the simultaneous or near simultaneous occurrence of events and is the explanation used not only by Pavlov, but also by Watson and Guthrie', (Lefrancois, 2000]. These theorists believed that in order for behaviour to change, it 'is sufficient that two events be paired sometimes only once; sometimes more often.' [Lefrancois, 2000].

Delayed Pairing

In classical conditioning, delayed pairing involves the conditioned stimulus being presented before the unconditioned stimulus, with both ending simultaneously.

Delayed Pairing

Trace Pairing

This occurs when the conditioned stimulus is presented and terminated before the unconditioned stimulus is presented, allowing a time lag between the two. 'If this time lapse is longer than 1/2 a second, trace conditioning is not very effective.' [Lefrancois, 2000].

Trace Pairing

Simultaneous Pairing

This is the form of classical conditioning used by Pavlov in his classical demonstration with dogs. In simultaneous pairing, the presentation of the conditioned stimulus and the unconditioned stimulus occur at the same time. 'This is not the most effective way of classical conditioning.' [Lefrancois, 2000].

Simultaneous Pairing

Backward Pairing

In classical conditioning, backward pairing occurs when the unconditioned stimulus is presented and removed before the conditioned stimulus.

Backward Pairing

ACQUISITION, EXTINCTION AND RECOVERY

Acquisition

In classical conditioning, acquisition is the formulation of the stimulus-response association and requires a number of pairings of the conditioned stimulus and the unconditioned stimulus. After only a couple of pairings, the conditioned stimulus alone does not ordinarily lead to a conditioned response. However, the more frequent the pairings, the stronger the response.

Extinction and Recovery

Extinction is the cessation of a response, following the repeated presentations of the conditioned stimulus without the unconditioned stimulus. E.g. for the dog experiment, the bell is repeatedly sounded, but no food is presented. The dog will eventually stop salivating.

However, spontaneous recovery can occur if the conditioned stimulus is presented again at a later date. E.g. the dog hears the bell so will salivate, (although the intensity will be lower). This response can be completely extinguished, but it would be necessary to repeat the procedure of presenting the conditioned stimulus without the unconditioned stimulus on a number of occasions. Eventually there will no longer be any evidence of spontaneous recovery.

CONCLUSION

Pavlov devoted his entire life to the study of man and animal, hoping to find some plausible explanation for other mysteries of life. With the conditioned response, he has enhanced both psychology and biology and things will never the same again. While his mistreatment of animals was abhorrent, it is likely that without some discomfort of the creatures, his discoveries would never have been realized. Perhaps if he did his work in this day and age he would have been more cognizant of that maltreatment, as this is a more enlightened age. At the same time, despite the mistreatment of living beings, Pavlov contributed an enormous amount of knowledge to the world which is still valuable today.

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