Definition of Pavlovian conditioning

Pavlovian conditioning: A method to cause a reflex response or behavior by training with repetitive action. The Russian physiologist Ivan Petrovich Pavlov conditioned dogs to respond in what proved to be a predictable manner. For example, when he customarily rang a bell before feeding them, the dogs would begin to salivate whenever the bell rang. The principles of Pavlovian conditioning form the basis of much modern behavioral science.


Last Editorial Review: 3/19/2012

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