Pavlov's dogs  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Pavlov's dogs is the informal title to a classic psychological experiment by Ivan Pavlov. In the experiment Pavlov would ring a bell after which dogs were given food. After a while, the dogs would start to drool after the bell had rung and before the food was present.


First Pavlov observed the UR (salivation) produced when meat powder (US) was placed in the dog's mouth. He then rang a bell (CS) before giving the meat powder. After some repetitions of this pairing of bell and meat the dog salivated to the bell alone, demonstrating what Pavlov called a "conditional" response, now commonly termed "conditioned response" or CR.


The experiment proves that people and animals respond to symbols as if they were the objects they represent. It also exemplifies the standard procedure used in classical conditioning.

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