Pavlovs dog experiments pave the way for modern anxiety cures

A 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.

So I thought that some information about Pavlovs dog experiments would help you if you are suffering from anxiety or depression, and need to motivate yourself 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.

So , what about Pavlov’s Dog?

Ivan Pavlov was a scientist who received the Nobel Prize in Physiology for his work on the mechanisms underlying the digestive system in mammals.

Around the time he received the Nobel Prize he had 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).

What are reflexes?

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.

These 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.

In the same way, dogs drool when they encounter food.

Pavlovs dog (s) were subjected to a series of experiments in which the built in reflex or UR of salivating for food was then LINKED to the sound of a bell, which was called the conditioned stimulus (CS.)

After a certain number of repetitions, Pavlov was able to ring the 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.

The process whereby dogs or humans learn to connect a stimulus to a reflex is called conditioning.

From this we understand that we can , just by repeatedly doing something, create a HABIT.
This can be a HABIT of THOUGHT, or of ACTION or BOTH.

The habits of positive thinking, the habits of a healthy lifestyle.

Why I’ve specifically mentioned Pavlovs dog, is that this conditioned 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.

Pavlovs 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).

And 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.

A number of programmes available do this remarkably effectively and efficiently.

So, what to take from this page on Pavlovs dog?...

An introduction to the importance of and the effectiveness of Anchoring and Conditioning .

“Repetition is the mother of all skill…just make sure you repeat enough of the good stuff!”
(Lindy Cloete)

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