Ivan Pavlov By: Jessica Mendoza
Who is Ivan Pavlov? • He was born on September 14, 1849 at Ryazan. He is son of Peter Dmeitrievich Pavlov who was a village priest. In his country, he studied in a catholic school and at the “theological seminary”. Because of two important persons that will later be mentioned, Pavlov left his religious beliefs and decided to know about science. He then began studying Physics and Mathematics in 1870. He was amazed by the subject of Physiology. With one of his classmates named, Afanasyev, they created their first experiment of physiology on the “pancreatic nerves”, and then obtained a gold medal.
… • When he completed his studies, he then received his degree of “Candidate of Natural Sciences” in 1875. Pavlov was highly interested in physiology, which is an important fact that contributed in his experiment that will later be mentioned and explained. He continued studying and decided to attend to the Academy of Medical Surgery to finish his 3rd classes. Again, after finishing his 3rd course in 1879, he received another gold medal. He also won a camaraderie at the Academy and became “Director of the Physiological Laboratory” at the well-known Russian clinician, S. P. Botkin. This made him more curious to persist with his investigations. Pavlov developed an idea of “nervism” in his thesis of “The centrifugal nerves of the heart”, “using as example the intensifying nerve of the heart which he had discovered, and furthermore laid down the basic principles on the trophic function of the nervous system.”(1) In his works he said that there was a “basic pattern in the reflex regulation of the activity of the circulatory organs.”(1)
… • “As guiding principles of materialistic teaching on the laws governing the activity of living organisms”(1), Pavlov developed three ideologies for the theory of reflexes which were: determinism, analysis and synthesis, and structure. These principles impacted the “building- up of a scientific theory of medicine”(1) and explains how an organism functions.
Honors • In the early periods of Pavlov’s research, he was already recognized. “In 1901 he was elected a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, in 1904 he was awarded a Nobel Prize, and in 1907 he was elected Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences; in 1912 he was given an honorary doctorate at Cambridge University and in the following years honorary membership of various scientific societies abroad. Finally, upon the recommendation of the Medical Academy of Paris, he was awarded the Order of the Legion of Honour (1915).” (1)
Pavlov’s Influences • One of his influences is the most important Russian literary critique D.I Pisarev, which also influenced other people in the 1860’s. • I.M. Sechenovwho is the father of physiology, is another of Pavlov’s greatest influences. • They both contributed into making Pavlov leave his religious views and get into the subject of science; physiology. “Pavlov transformed Sechenov's theoretical attempt to discover the reflex mechanisms of psychic activity into an experimentally proven theory of conditioned reflexes.” (1)
External Effects • “After the October Revolution, a special government decree, signed by Lenin on January 24, 1921, noted «the outstanding scientific services of Academician I.P. Pavlov, which are of enormous significance to the working class of the whole world».The Communist Party and the Soviet Government saw to it that Pavlov and his collaborators were given unlimited scope for scientific research. The Soviet Union became a prominent centre for the study of physiology, and the fact that the 15th International Physiological Congress of August 9-17, 1935, was held in Leningrad and Moscow clearly shows that it was acknowledged as such.” (1)
WhatisBehaviorism? • First, behaviorism goes into the learning perspective. It considers that free will is an illusion, therefore every experiment conducted is deterministic. John Watson, who is the father of behaviorism, described that everything that we are is influenced specifically ONLY by our surroundings; we are born empty. This theory consists that all behaviors are obtained through conditioning. The types of conditioning are Classical Conditioning, which Pavlov discovered, and Operant conditioning.
WhatisClassicalConditioning? • As mentioned before, this theory was discovered by Pavlov. It consists of two different things that become associated. There should be an environmental stimulus and a innate stimulus. There are four main principles for classical conditioning. These are unconditioned stimulus, unconditioned response, conditioned stimulus, and conditioned response.
Unconditioned Stimulus • An unconditioned stimulus is something that triggers a response without learning it.
Unconditioned Response • A response that is not learned that is caused by the unconditioned stimulus.
Conditioned Stimulus • After the unconditioned stimulus becomes learned unconsciously, the stimulus becomes conditioned.
Conditioned Response • The conditioned response occurs after the conditioned stimulus; when the unconditioned stimulus becomes learned and therefore becomes conditioned stimulus.
His Experiment • Basically Pavlov did not really have the purpose of creating the theory of Classical Conditioning in his experiment, since he is a physiologist. His intention of the experiment was to see how much saliva a dog produced when he was going to be fed. He found out that salivating was automatic after showing the food. After attempting the experiment, he and his assistants noticed that the dogs would salivate when there was no food or smell of it. After this, he knew that it was not an automatic response to a certain stimulus.
Pavlov’s Dogs- Methodology • In the discovery of Classical Conditioning, Pavlov had dogs and he showed them meat powder and the saliva of the dogs was “collected by an implanted tube in their salivary glands”(3). After some time, Pavlov saw that the dogs began to salivate even before the food was shown when the assistants or Pavlov himself was near or when the dogs heard the noise the machine of the meat powder produced. Pavlov became astonished by this and he decided to a bell sound with the food. When these two stimulus where combined various times, afterwards he used the bell alone. Pavlov’s prediction was that the dogs would respond by salivating to the bell’s sound. At first the bell was a neutral stimulus, but after the combination of the bell with the meat, it produced the salivation response with only the sound.
The principles of Classical Conditioning in the experiment • Unconditioned Stimulus: Meat powder • Unconditioned Response: Salivation • Neutral Stimulus: Bell until association with food • Conditioned Stimulus: Bell • Conditioned Response: Salivation
Video • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cP5lCleK-PM&feature=related • Here is a video that will explain with a more clear and simple way what Ivan Pavlov attempted in his experiment of Classical Conditioning. • http://nobelprize.org/educational_games/medicine/pavlov/pavlov.html • “Can you make a dog drool on demand?” Here is also a game that will also help you understand the dog’s reactions.
Summary of Theory • Pavlov’s conclusion of his findings was that a person can manage to trigger a response with a neutral stimulus by making them learn it. This means that a person’s reaction can be malleable if correctly manipulated.
Cultural • Itdoesnotaffectanytype of culturebecauseitisgeneralizedexperimentthat shows thefunctions of behavior. In simplerterms, there are same responses in everyculture.
Ethics • ItisanunethicalexperimentbecausePavlovdidnothavetheconsent of thedogs. Foranexperimenttobeethical, there has tobetheconsent of thepersonor animal. Obviously, itisimpossibletohavetheconsent of an animal, thereforeit’sunethical.
Gender • Thereis no difference in genderbecauseeveryhuman has responses towardsthingsthatwe do or do notknow off, which are influencedbyoursurroundings.
Strengths • The most relevant strength of the experiment is that since the time Pavlov discovered Classical Conditioning, people know more about how humans respond to things and how we learn to respond. • It is now easier to understand human behavior. • There are several therapies used according to classical conditioning that help people get out of phobias.
Limitations • A limitation could be that the dogs were strained and they got used to starve whenever the assistants or Pavlov trained them to salivate by only hearing the sound of the bell.
Free- Will vs. Determinism • Since Free-Will is an illusion according to the learning perspective, the study of Pavlov is considered as a deterministic study because it was not an experiment performed by its own will.
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