Conditioned Reflex / Psychology

March 23, 2017 12:02 am | Updated 12:49 am IST

A conditioned reflex, also called an acquired reflex, is an automatic response to a stimulus that differs from that initially causing the response, but that has become associated with it by repetition, in a process known as classical conditioning. Such a reflex is developed gradually by training in association with specific repeated external stimuli.

An example is that in Russian psychologist Ivan Pavlov’s experiment in which a dog salivates at the ringing of a bell if, over a period of time, every feeding is preceded by the bell-ringing stimulus. Such a reflex is built into the nervous system and does not need the intervention of conscious thought to take effect.

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