Classical Conditioning Examples in Psychology

Examining classical conditioning examples can shed light on the psychology of learned behavior and other aspects of human behavior.

Interestingly enough, the first classical conditioning experiment was conducted on a dog. This paved way for a whole new world of psychology. Are you interested in learning more? Here are a few classical conditioning examples you should know about.

Classical Conditioning in Advertising Examples

With the aid of classical conditioning, advertisers coax consumers into associating their products with a particular feeling or response.  In this case, the advertised product acts as the conditioned stimulus, that’ll produce a conditioned response. Here, the main goal of the advertisement is to get the viewers to experience the same feeling when they see the product in real life (conditioned response).

Here are a few examples of classical conditioning in advertisements:

As you can see, the food products in the both these ads have been depicted as mouth-watering and delicious, causing consumers to feel hungry.

Another prime example of classical conditioning occurs when people in the advertisement are shown having a good time using the product. This causes consumers to associate the product with a good feeling. Coca Cola’s Open Happiness campaign is an excellent example of classical conditioning as it teachers consumers to associate a bottle of coke with some of life’s best moments.

Classical Conditioning Examples In Everyday Life

You’ll find plenty of classical conditioning examples in everyday life. For instance, dog trainers use various classical conditioning techniques to train their pets.

In the same way, therapists may use classical conditioning to help people cope with anxiety or phobia. This can be done by pairing something that provokes anxiety with relaxation techniques to establish a new association and extinguish the old one.

In a similar manner, teachers also use classical conditioning in classrooms to create a positive learning environment for students to grow and learn from.

Classical Conditioning Examples on Humans

The impact of classical conditioning can be seen in responses such as anger, nausea, phobias etc. For instance, a child may start to feel nauseous from the sight of a particular food if it has caused an upset stomach in the past.

In the same way, some adults may start to associate swimming or the sea with fear if they’ve had a near-drowning experience when they were young.

Little Albert Experiment

An experiment was conducted on a 9-month-old infant named Albert to test his reactions to different stimuli. Albert showed no signs of fear when exposed to animals such as monkeys, rabbits, and rats. However, in the next phase of the experiment, a hammer was struck against a steel bar. Naturally, the child was startled by the loud noise and would immediately burst into tears.

When Albert was 11 months old, the conditioning finally began. Researchers would place a white rabbit in front of the baby and then strike a steel bar with a hammer. The same trial was repeated 7 times over the course of 7 weeks. The baby’s response was noted each time, Albert would always start to cry. It was then observed that the sight of the white rabbit was enough to scare little Albert. He would cry or even attempt to crawl away upon seeing the rat even though it was the loud noise that initially scared him in the beginning.

Classical Conditioning Examples in the Classroom

Classical conditioning is often used by teachers to create a nurturing learning environment for students. For this, it is important for teachers to observe the reaction of students so that they may mold their teaching techniques accordingly.

For instance, some students may have a difficult time in school if they begin to associate math quizzes with anxiety and pressure. This learned behavior may adversely affect them in the future whenever they have to take an exam.

To curb such responses, teachers can use various methods of classical conditioning to create a test or learning environment that promotes a feeling of calmness amongst students. Over time, students will learn not to associate tests and quizzes with anxiety.

Bullying and Phobia

If a child is bullied in school, he will eventually start to associate school with fear and anxiety. Over time, the very mention of going to school may put him over the edge. In such cases, parents and teachers must take immediate action to extinguish the effects of classical conditioning or else the child will continue to respond with fear at the very thought of going to school.

If not paid attention to, this behavior may continue throughout the child’s academic life.

Wrapping it up

We hope you’ve benefited from our detailed classical conditioning examples. Is there something you might like to add? Tell us about it in the comment section below.