Let us look at the historical figures who developed the concept of conditioning. First, I will mention Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936). He was a Russian physician and physiologist who studied digestion in dogs. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1904. He observed that dogs salivated when food was presented to them – a normal physiological response. He also observed that dogs salivated when their feeder merely approached without dispensing food. The dogs had paired, or associated, the feeder’s approach with being fed. Pavlov termed this a “conditioned response.” He thought of it solely as a physiological event. Pavlov’s ideas were very popular in Russia but not well known in the United States until 1927 when his work was translated into English. Appreciating Dr. Pavlov’s early work will help you understand the Emotional Conditioning Theory being introduced in this blog.
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