Ivan Pavlov Final Paper

Amal Ghanimah
Instructional Psychology

Ivan Pavlov was a Russian psychologist who is most known for his model of learning,

classical conditioning. He was born on September 26, 1849 in Ryazan, Russia. He was the oldest

of seven children and went to school to study theology. After reading about people like Charles

Darwin and Ivan Sechenov, he transferred schools and decided to study natural science.

Eventually in his third year, he decided to be a physiologist and won a Nobel Prize for his

research on the physiology of digestion in dogs.

The most famous thing that Pavlov is known for is his experiment where he found out

that he can pair a neutral stimulus with an involuntary response and soon the unlearned reflex

becomes a result of the neutral stimulus. He made this discovery by accident when he was

conducting research on the gastric systems of dogs and noticed that the dogs began to salivate

every time they were fed and when they heard or smelled the food being prepared without the

physical food being in front of them. Soon, Pavlov decided to place dogs in harnesses in isolated

environments and place a food bowl in front of each dog. A tone would be played each time the

dogs were fed and the rate at which the dogs salivated was measured. The results found that the

dogs were soon salivating at the sound of the tone with no actual food present. He recorded his

discoveries in his book, Conditioned Reflexes.

Pavlov’s discoveries were highly praised and respected, and his research is still used

today worldwide, including in the field of education. Classical conditioning can be used towards

trying to monitor and mold students’ behavioral habits. If a teacher repeats a behavior such as

quieting the class down with a certain signal or associating positive things with learning tasks,

then soon, the students will be able to complete their tasks with their past conditioned responses.
Ivan Pavlov Final Paper

Another way that this can be applied in a classroom context is that classical conditioning can be

used along operant conditioning to reinforce learning and behavioral techniques. For example, if

students are praised for good behavior, and the overall tone of the class is one of enjoyment and

praise, then the student is more likely to attend and be more invested in that specific class.

In conclusion, Ivan Pavlov was a Russian Psychologist who became known for his theory

of Classical Conditioning, which was discovered through his research with dogs’ involuntary

responses. This theory can be used in an education context through teachers applying this same

philosophy towards positively affecting students’ behavior in the classroom.
Ivan Pavlov Final Paper

Works Cited

-Lautenheiser, Mindy. "Ivan Pavlov." Psychology History. N.p., May 1999. Web.

-Renata, Rebeca. "Uses of Classical Conditioning in the Classroom." Synonym. Leaf Group Ltd.,

n.d. Web.

-Waude, Adam. "Pavlov's Dogs: How Classical Conditioning Informs Our Behavior."

Psychologist World. N.p., 12 Jan. 2016. Web.