Classical Conditioning

Pavlov's Apparatus
Harness and fistula (mouth tube) help keep dog in a consistent position and gather uncontaminated saliva samples. They do not cause the dog discomfort. (Carlson, 1997)


In order to understand what was controlling this unexpected behavior of salivating when the laboratory assistants were seen, Pavlov placed an inexperienced (naive) dog in a harness and occasionally gave it small amounts of food powder. Just prior to placing the food powder in the dog's mouth, Pavlov sounded a bell, a buzzer, or some other auditory stimulus (Carlson, 1997).

At first, the dog showed only a startle response to the sound. The dog salivated only when the food powder was placed in the dog's mouth. After only a dozen or so pairings of the bell and food powder, the dog began to salivate when the bell rang (Carlson, 1997).