In the late 1800’s, Russian psychologist Dr. Ivan Pavlov founded the term ‘classical conditioning,’ during an experiment he conducted on dogs. As his research progressed, he noticed that the dogs in his lab were salivating when presented with something that they had 1learned to associate with food; the sight of his lab assistant being one of such triggers . In light of his discoveries, Pavlov changed his experiment completely, and began to focus on the dog’s responses to certain stimuli; thus inadvertently uncovering the phenomenon known as classical conditioning. In this essay, I will identify, exemplify, and define the four components of classical conditioning. I will also discuss a behaviour of my own, and explain it using the theory and perspective of classical conditioning.Classical Conditioning was hypothesized while Dr. Ivan Pavlov was studying the role of saliva in dogs’ digestive processes (Pavlov, 2003). Pavlov’s dogs were put into a lab in which his lab assistants would enter and present the dogswith food, which in turn would make the dogs salivate. Over time, Pavlov began to notice that the dogs salivation would begin just by looking at the lab assistants, or even just the assistant’s customary white coats–even when food was not in sight. Pavlov then ran a study to see if the dogs would react the same way if he rang a bell before feeding time. Soon after, the dogs’ saliva glands were triggered just at the sound of a bell.In order to demonstrate classical conditioning, one must understand the four basic components. The first component is the unconditioned stimulus (UCS). This is the stimulus that automatically produces a response without any prior learning. In Pavlov’s case, the unconditioned stimulus is the meat powder. Next is the unconditioned response (UCR), which is 2the reaction to the unconditioned stimulus. Salivation is the unconditioned response in Pavlov’s experiment. The neutral stimulus (NS) is any occurrence that does not produce a response when it is first presented, an example of it being the bell. The conditioned stimulus (CS) is the neutral stimulus that after repeated pairings with the unconditioned stimulus, produces an unlearned response; the bell is also an example of a conditioned stimulus. Lastly is the conditioned (CR) response, which is the response made to the conditioned stimulus; and example of a conditioned stimulus is salivation. There are a few different principles associated with classical conditioning, they are important in demonstrating and understanding the classical conditioning process. The initial stage of learning is called acquisition. This is where the neutral stimulus is paired with an unconditioned stimulus. As a result a response is learned and strengthened, and the neutral stimulus is now known as a conditioned stimulus. Extinction is another process in which the conditioned stimulus is repeatedly presented without the UCS, this causes the conditioned stimulus to fade and eventually disappear. Spontaneous recovery occurs after extinction when the Conditioned Stimulus is again presented with the UCS, and response reappears. Generalization occurs when a stimulus that is similar to the conditioned Stimulus elicits the conditioned response. Next is the process is called discrimination. This occurs when a conditioned response is made only to the Conditioned stimulus, and to no other stimuli. Lastly there is higher order conditioning, which exists when a stimulus that has been conditioned is used to create a new conditioned stimulus.3A behaviour I have acquired through the classical conditioning is my distaste for peanut butter. A couple years ago I got an abundance of peanut butter granola bars. One day I had a stomach flu, and the only thing that I was able to eat was the peanut butter granola bars. I ended up eating too many of the granola bars which caused me to vomit. This experience caused me to hate the taste of peanutbutter, as I associate it with the stomach flu that I had. The neutral stimulus in my situation is peanut butter, as it did not produce the reaction I had before the trauma that occured. The unconditioned stimulus is the stomach flu that I had, as a stomach flu is associated with vomiting. The unconditioned response is nausea, because nausea is a side effect of a stomach flu. The conditioned stimulus is peanut butter, and lastly the conditioned response is nausea. The classical conditioning phenomena that relates to my situation is generalization. The situation that I went through caused me to become repulsed by even the sight of peanut butter. If something has peanut butter in it I will not go near it, as the smell of peanut butter makes my stomach upset. An example is when I went to a thai restaurant, and they had a peanut dipping sauce. The sauce was made with peanuts, and the taste and smell of it immediately made me feel the same conditioned response, which is nausea. Pavlov’s theory of classical conditioning is prevalent in our daily life, it explains the development of human fears, responses, phobias, emotional responses and even food preferences. The principles in classical conditioning allows us to understand why certain stimuli produces certain responses in different people.