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The Impact of Pavlov’s Research
Pavlov’s discovery of classical conditioning remains one of the most important in psychology’s history. In addition to forming the basis of what would become behavioral psychology, the conditioning process remains important today for numerous applications, including behavioral modification and mental health treatment. Classical conditioning is often used to treat phobias, anxiety and panic disorders.
One interesting example of the practical use of classical conditioning principles is the use of taste aversions to prevent coyotes from preying on domestic livestock. A conditioned taste aversion occurs when a neutral stimulus (eating some type of food) is paired with an unconditioned response (becoming ill after eating the food). Unlike other forms of classical conditioning, this type of conditioning does not require multiple pairings in order for an association to form. In fact, taste aversions generally occur after just a single pairing. Ranchers have found useful ways to put this form of classical conditioning to good use to protect their herds. In one example, mutton was injected with a drug that produces severe nausea. After eating the poisoned meat, coyotes then avoided sheep herds rather than attack them.
While Pavlov’s discovery of classical conditioning formed an essential part of psychology’s history, his work continues to inspire further research today. Between the years 1997 and 2000, more than 220 articles appearing in scientific journals cited Pavlov’s early research on classical conditioning. While Pavlov may not have been a psychologist, his contributions to psychology have help make the discipline what it is today and will likely continue to shape our understanding of human behavior for years to come.
"Very slowly over many years, I learned that consenting to be with what is, body, heart, and mind, without judging or seeking to change anything in any way, allows a new energy or vibration or feeling of life to appear—and this is the truth I was searching for. This truth can be found only in the moment. One moment we are fully embodied beings, sensing and feeling the world around us and inside us, opening to perceptions of reality that lead us towards a living unknown. The next moment, we contract into thought, into stories about who we are and what the world is like, splitting off from the whole to claim our little portion of the life force as our own. But from earliest childhood, that same energy in us seeks the greater energy, seeks to be part of the greater whole."
–Editor, Tracy Cochran on finding the infinite in the finite from “Seeking Verity" in our new winter issue.
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Giorgio A. Tsoukalos
We’re back, everyone!!! Did you miss us? We had a lovely time in Maui and we got to revisit our favourite banyan tree….this time with our little Myla bear (who is strapped onto me in the baby carrier in the photo)! I will be putting together a blog post showing some of the highlights from our trip including where we ate, what we did and where we stayed in case anyone is planning an upcoming trip to Maui! Ryan took some gorgeous photos and I can’t wait to share them with you all :)
Photo: Brian Bielmann