dog experiments pave the way for modern anxiety cures
conditioned response, as demonstrated by Pavlovs dog, helps
us see the point
of affirmations, anchoring,repetition,
and how learning structured positive thinking will help cure our
depression and anxiety.
I thought that some information about Pavlovs dog experiments would
help you if you are suffering from anxiety or depression, and need to motivate
to get started with some form of therapy.
As my pages will have shown by now, I’m strongly in
favour of CBT
and NLP as opposed to the pure medication route for helping with
anxiety or depression.
, what about Pavlov’s Dog?
Ivan Pavlov was a scientist who received the Nobel Prize in
for his work on the mechanisms underlying the digestive system in
Around the time he received the Nobel Prize
channeled his energies into focusing on studying the laws of the
formation of conditioned reflexes,
a topic on which
he then worked for the remainder of his life (he died in 1936).
Reflexes are reactions that are
programmed into us, and not linked to any particular stimulus.
For example, when a light beam hits our eyes, our pupils shrink in
response to the light stimulus.
reflexes are called
unconditioned, or built-in (Unconditioned Responses - UR).
The body responds in the same fashion
every time the stimuli (the light) is applied.
the same way, dogs drool when they encounter food.
dog (s) were subjected to a series of experiments in which
the built in reflex or UR of salivating for food was then
to the sound of a bell,
which was called the
conditioned stimulus (CS.)
After a certain number of repetitions, Pavlov was able to
bell(CS) without presenting the food, and the dogs would still salivate.
Pavlov's discovery was that environmental events that
previously had no relation
to a given reflex (such as a bell sound) could, through experience,
trigger a reflex (salivation).
This kind of learned response
as shown by
Pavlovs dog is called conditioned reflex.
process whereby dogs or humans learn to connect a stimulus to a reflex
is called conditioning.
this we understand that we can , just by repeatedly doing something,
create a HABIT.
This can be a HABIT of THOUGHT, or of ACTION
The habits of positive thinking, the habits of a
Why I’ve specifically mentioned Pavlovs dog, is that this
response from a Conditioned (practiced) stimulus is what is central to
all the better self help programs you will read about
on the net, and the skills that you will be taught by a therapist.
In modern psychotherapy terms, this CS (conditioned Stimulus)
is called ANCHORING.
Now, another thing that was noticed by Pavlov was the
phenomenon of EXTINCTION.
dog (s) also showed us an important principle in conditioned
learning which is that an established conditioned response
(salivating in the case of the dogs) decreases in intensity
if the conditioned stimulus (bell) is repeatedly presented without the
unconditioned stimulus (food).
how is this relevant to anxiety and depression cures?
Well, it means that we periodically have to REINFORCE our
newly built ANCHORS , until they are totally embedded in our psyche.
number of programmes available do this remarkably effectively and
So, what to take from this page on Pavlovs dog?...
introduction to the importance of and the effectiveness of Anchoring
“Repetition is the mother of all
skill…just make sure you repeat enough of the good stuff!”