Impact of Research in the Real World


A lab report about classical conditioning



The classical learning is a procedure which occurs through an affiliation between the stimulus of an environment and a stimulus which occurs naturally. The characteristic of conditional stimulus is that it is being created when we react to something as we are actually associated with something else. The characteristic of the unconditional stimulus is that it helps in triggering the responses naturally and unconditionally. The characteristic of the unconditioned response is that it helps in reacting automatically to the stimulus. The characteristic of a conditioned response is that it helps in creating a natural response by practicing to a stimulus. The characteristics of aversive conditioning are spontaneous recovery as it is the response which re-emerges suddenly and extinction takes place when there is an occurrence of a decrease in stimulus-response. According to the Pavlov experiment, when the bell stopped to ring, the dogs had conditioned stimulus. The factors like generalization and extinction impacts the classical conditioning. Further, there is a model i.e. R-Which stated that classical conditioning is not successful all the time during the experiments as the behavior of humans cannot be predicted in every situation. Therefore, that was a reflex response which was normal. Another example of aversive conditioned is that a person is having therapy in order to quit smoking and he might get electric shocks every time they see the picture of cigarette. The main motive behind this is to make the person as a comrade the stimulus with the unpleasant sensations and vibes. Further, the experiment of classical conditioning is conducted in the field of psychology. The hypothesis is whenever the word can is said out loud the girl with closed eyes expects the burst of the balloon.

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  • Participants 
    There were three participants in our group, two girls, and a boy. The one girl was reading from the paper of words. The boy had various balloons and a pin in order to burst them. The other girl was sitting with her eyes closed. The experiment was conducted in the classroom and the materials which were used for the experiments are a good number of balloons, a pin to burst them, a paper containing the words.

  • Procedure 
    The experiment was conducted in the class, and the class was filled with balloons. The girl who was sitting with the eyes closed was supposed to respond as classical conditioned. As the other girl was supposed to respond to conditioned stimulus as she was reading a paper with words. There were series of words that contained the word ‘can’. The first part was in yellow color. Then there was a green part that contained no ‘can’ word but was having the sequence of other words. Similarly, the next part which is grey in color was also not having any word ‘can’. Then the blue, yellow and green part was having the word ‘can’ respectively. The boy was supposed to burst the balloon at every word ‘can, ' but the balloon was not burst in the green area. Further, in the other part, there was no word ‘can.' Then, again in the yellow sequence, the balloon was burst at the word ‘can.' In the end, the balloon was not burst at the green sequence. The boy was expected to respond as classical conditioned.

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During the experiment, the girl who was reading from the paper was normally reading the paper as she was responding to a conditioned stimulus. The girl who was sitting with the eyes closed was expecting that the balloon will burst whenever the word ‘can’ will be spoken. The boy who was bursting the balloons was not conscious enough as he didn’t burst the balloon at the word ‘can’ in the last phase. The characteristics of the conditioning were observed at the girl’s end who was sitting with the eyes closed and who was reading the paper of words. The number of balloons burst was 21. The additional time allotted was 8 minutes in order to complete the experiment. The characteristic of the conditioned stimulus occurred in the experiment because the reaction of a girl with closed eyes was spontaneous when the balloon is being popped. The characteristics of conditioned response occurred in the experiment as the response became natural after practicing to stimulus. For example, the girl with closed eyes was not prepared earlier when the balloon will pop but after a few seconds she was prepared in order to react at the word ‘CAN’.


  • Hypothesis 
    The hypothesis for the experiment is whenever the word can is said out loud the girl with closed eyes expects the burst of the balloon. Further, the results were observed in order to check whether they are supporting the hypothesis or not. The participants were associated with the word ‘CAN’ when the balloon is being popped. Therefore, the learning took place and the occurrence of stimulus discrimination was identified.

  • Previous Research
    According to the researchers (Davey, G. C. 2012), the RW model shows the most significant phenomena, but it also fails in various ways. For example, the pair of juicy steak and bell generates more saliva as compared to the pair of dry bread and a bell. The main reason behind the model is that the CS predicts the US (Brush, F. R. Ed. 2014). According to the previous research, it has been understood that there was a lack of results that showed the failure of classical conditioning as most of the research is done on successful classical conditioning only. There is a lack of results of failure because the behavior of humans varies in every situation. So there are not much pieces of evidence in order to show the reasons for their behavior. And it is difficult to study the perception of humans in every situation in order to make the classical conditioning successful. Therefore, the model failed just like our own experiment as the classical conditioning was not successful. 

  • Limitations 
    We were expecting from the experiment that we would respond successfully to the classical conditioning.  Further, the demand for the attributes and the effects of the experimenter may discriminate against the results and thus became the variables of confounding, and this could have been improved in order to get the better result. One of the characteristics of classical conditioning is extinction as there is no occurrence of a decrease in conditioned response because the unconditioned stimulus was paired with the conditioned stimulus in our experiment.

  • Future Research 
    According to the researchers (Gaiiing, T., & Archer, T. 2014), it has been identified that the method of a conditioned reflex is having a limitation i.e. it cannot be utilized in the human subject studies because of the thinking differences with the results of the experiments.

  • Impact of Research in the Real World 
    The experiment of classical conditioning can be utilized for the learning of taste-aversion as the built-in biological part inside us tells the organism to evade food when it is associated with illness. For example, the patients of cancer which undergo chemotherapy are provided with food that has a strange flavor like licorice. The patients feel sick in order to avoid licorice instead of healthy food which helps in building the immune system (Rescorla, R. A. 2014).  


  • Brush, F. R. (Ed.). (2014). Aversive conditioning and learning. Academic Press.

  • Davey, G. C. (2012). Classical conditioning and the acquisition of human fears and phobias: A review and synthesis of the literature. Advances in Behaviour Research and Therapy, 14(1), 29-66.

  • Gaiiing, T., & Archer, T. (2014). Methodological and Conceptual Perspectives on Aversive Conditioning. Aversion, Avoidance, and Anxiety: Perspectives on Aversively Motivated Behavior, 371.

  • Rescorla, R. A. (2014). Pavlovian Second-Order Conditioning (Psychology Revivals): Studies in Associative Learning. Psychology Press.

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