What are the Factors which are Responsible for Conditioning?

1. Effect of Motives

For conditioning the stimulus must have the capacity to produce the response. In Pavlov’s experiment, the dog was hungry. Therefore it associated the bell with the food, not food with the bell. Thus, the motive has an influence on the learning of conditioned response.

Pavlov's Dog | in Chapter 05: Conditioning | from Psychology: An ...

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2. The Time Relation of the Two Stimuli


The time relations of the two stimuli are very important in conditioned response learning. It is essential that the new stimulus (c s) is given before the response ends. The natural order is that first the new stimulus (c s) is given and then the old stimulus (u c s).

In Pavlov’s experiment the bell is given before the food and food is given before the response to the bell ends.

3. Absence of the Deserting Stimuli

Conditioning becomes difficult if some other stimulus is present with the two stimuli (CS and UCS); the lesser the distracting external stimuli are, quicker is the learning of conditioned response. In Pavlov’s experiment, a sound proof room was used for this purpose.


4. Repetition of the Stimuli

Food is given to the dog after the bell for many such relations. If the dog gets the food always with the bell then it begins to salivate to the ringing of the bell only. But once the response if conditioned, the two stimuli need not be repeated together continuously

In Watson’s experiment when fear to a hair is developed in the child, producing a loud sound suddenly in the presence of a hare once while was enough for the child to remain afraid from the hare.

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