Behaviourism is based upon observable behaviour.
Pavlov theorised that it was possible to change behaviour by introducing new stimuli.
This means that planned positive reinforcement is effective in promoting change in a learner’s behaviour.
Ivan Pavlov tested this theory on dogs. He observed that the dogs would salivate every time they saw him because they associated him with food. He suggested that this was a conditioned response because the dogs had become used to him bringing them food.
He wondered if it was possible to condition the dogs into associating a neutral stimulus with food. Pavlov introduced a bell.
Every time Pavlov fed his dogs he would ring a bell. After repeating this for a number of times he wondered if he rang the bell without the food, that the dogs would salivate in anticipation.
He was correct and the dogs began to salivate as soon as they heard the bell. The dogs had learned a new behaviour and this was now a conditioned response.
Pavlov also noted that the stimuli must be presented close together in time to allow for conditioning… if not then no new behaviour will be learned because no association will be made.
This can be used in a classroom situation when attempting to keep learners under control. If learners discover that when they misbehave for example and no action is taken by the teacher then they will learn that that particular behaviour is acceptable and will