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Pavlov Laws

Pavlov's laws are a set of three principles that govern classical conditioning, which is a type of learning. The laws were first proposed by Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov in the early 1900s.


The three laws are as follows:


1. The Law of Contiguity


This law states that learning is more likely to occur if the conditioned stimulus (CS) and unconditioned stimulus (US) are presented close together in time. In other words, the closer in time the CS and US are presented, the more likely it is that conditioning will occur.


2. The Law of Frequency


This law states that learning is more likely to occur if the conditioned stimulus (CS) and unconditioned stimulus (US) are presented multiple times. In other words, the more often the CS and US are presented, the more likely it is that conditioning will occur.


3. The Law of Sensitivity


This law states that learning is more likely to occur if the conditioned stimulus (CS) is highly salient or noticeable. In other words, the more conspicuous or important the CS is, the more likely it is that conditioning will occur.


Pavlov's laws are important because they help to explain how classical conditioning works. They also suggest ways in which conditioning can be made more or less likely to occur. For example, if you want to condition someone to fear a particular thing (such as a snake), you would need to make sure that the person is exposed to the snake close in time to when they experience fear (such as by having the snake jump out at them from behind a bush). You would also need to make sure that this exposure is repeated multiple times. Finally, you would need to make sure that the snake is highly noticeable or salient (for example, by making it very large or very colorful).


Pavlov's laws are just a set of general principles, however. They don't always hold true in every situation. For example, some people can be conditioned to fear something even if they've only been exposed to it once (such as seeing a horrific car accident). And some people can be conditioned to like something even if they don't find it very salient or noticeable (such as the taste of a new food).


Despite these exceptions, Pavlov's laws are still useful because they provide a general framework for understanding how classical conditioning works. And they can be helpful in predicting when conditioning is likely to occur.


Author: Shane McNamara


WABDT



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