Tag Archives: Seligman

Was Pavlov an Equal Opportunity Conditioner?

Ivan PavlovThe spring 2007 issue of the Journal of Mind and Behavior, 28 (2), contains an article on whether the famed Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov would have agreed with American behaviorists of the mid-20th century that virtually any sensory object has the equivalent potential as a conditioned stimulus. The claim, dubbed by Seligman (1970) as “equivalence of associability,” was often attributed to Pavlov, and was a virtual article of faith among American behaviorists until studies such as those by the Brelands (1961) and by Garcia and Koelling (1966) demonstrated that different animals have different propensities to associate certain kinds of CS with certain classes of response.

By contrast, in the article “Pavlov and the Equivalence of Associability in Classical Conditioning,” Continue reading Was Pavlov an Equal Opportunity Conditioner?