Explain the Important Features of Pavlov’s theory.

Ivan Pavlov suggested that differences in personality are because of the learning and different environmental experiences. Based on his observations after experiments on dogs, Pavlov, suggested that the salivation of dog was a learned response. The dogs were responding to the sight of the research assistants white lab coats, which the animals had come to associate with the presentation of food. Unlike the salivary response to the presentation of food, which is an unconditioned reflex, salivating to the expectation of food is a conditioned reflex.

Pavlov then focused on investigating exactly how these conditioned responses are learned or acquired. In a series of experiments, Pavlov set out to provoke a conditioned response to a previously neutral stimulus. He opted to use food as the unconditioned stimulus, or the stimulus that evokes a response naturally and automatically.

The sound of a metronome was chosen to be the neutral stimulus. The dogs would first be exposed to the sound of the ticking metronome, and then the food was immediately presented. After several conditioning trials, Pavlov noted that the dogs began to salivate after hearing the metronome.

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