Illustration of Conditioned reflexes

1904 Conditioned reflexes

The book of science

Tom Sharp

Ivan Pavlov psychology Illustration of Conditioned reflexes

Conditioned reflexes

Studying the regulation of saliva and gastric secretions Pavlov operated on dogs to externalize their salivary glands and to create an external section of their stomaches, and found, to his surprise, the juices flowed when the dogs noticed anything associated with food, such as the sound of his footsteps and anything that he conditioned the dogs to associate with food, such as the ringing of a bell.


Pavlov found that he could remove as well as create conditioned reflexes. Pavlov hated the Soviets but the Soviets loved Pavlov.


Learned reflexes can be indistinguishable from personal tastes, your choice of dress, the way I part my hair, your pronunciation of vowels, my dislike of mashed squash. When I whistle your eyes light up. Like a cliché, I salivate when you ring my bell.

Although we might indeed have spirits and free will, we also have bodies and autonomic responses.

What the Behaviorists learned from Ivan Pavlov and the use of Pavlovian principles in brainwashing military and political prisoners should not be used against behaviorism. The branch of psychology based on investigation of behaviors rather than introspection of the patients teaches us much of human behavior, which, after all, is very similar to the behavior of other mammals.

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