Many historians wondered great questions that would today be called psychological. Many wondered how a person processes information through their senses and transform this information to solve problems, and become motivated to act in significant ways. They wondered about the nature and whether or not it controls us or is it something we control ourselves. Like today’s psychologist historians wanted to describe, predict, understand, and modify behavior to increase the human knowledge and happiness. Unlike Psychologist today, scholars did not rely deeply on empirical evidence. They often used observations based on anecdotes or descriptions of similar cases. Early approaches of psychology eventually evolved into the five major theoretical
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(2012) pgs.5-7). There are many different psychologist credited with the development of this perspective. One major theorist credited is Ivan Pavlov. Ivan Pavlov is a Russian physiologist who got the novel prize in 1950 with his main work of digestion. But his empirical study of reflexes and conditioning are what became influential for the leaning perspective. His works describes the basic rules of the approach that explain learning as being a reflex response to a stimulus. In his main studies he used dogs, but he originally was paying more attention on salivation which is a reflex involved in the dog’s digestion process.
Supporting details of this perspective comes from Pavlov’s work. In his studies he called unconditioned response, those reflexes that already exist in all organisms, and unconditioned stimulus the certain stimulus that triggers a specific response. But what Pavlov discovered was that by conditioning he could condition his dogs to salivate when a neutral stimulus such as a bell sound was presented. This is because when the bell sound is presented, the dog learns an association between the bell sound and the food. So eventually the dog will salivate whenever it hears the bell sound because he would associate the ringing of the bell with being fed. In this case the bell sound will become a conditioned stimulus and the salivation will be the conditioned