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Pavlovian Conditioning And Classical Conditioning

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Pavlovian Conditioning can be used to treat and explain addiction. We must first discuss Pavlovian conditioning and addiction before we can even begin to talk of the two together. Pavlovian Conditioning is better known as Classical Conditioning, which was created by Ivan Pavlov and later used by John Watson to explain human psychology. Classical conditioning is defined by Meriam-Webster dictionary (2016) as a learning process that occurs when two stimuli are repeatedly paired; a response that is at first elicited by the second stimulus is eventually elicited by the first stimulus alone. For example, with Pavlov’s dogs, the unconditioned stimulus is food, the conditioned stimulus is the bell and the response is salivation, which we will discuss…show more content…
Addiction is defined simply as a strong and harmful need to regularly have something (such as drugs) or do something like gambling (Addiction, 2016). Addiction can be crippling and can control all aspects of your life to the point of not being able to function as a productive member of society. Addicts can have a life long struggle, even once sober, or clean, from the addiction. Carey, Carrera, and Damaintopoulos (2014) state in their article that Pavlovian conditioning of drug effects is generally acknowledged to be a critical factor in the development and persistence of drug addiction. In drug conditioning the focus has essentially been on one type of Pavlovian conditioning, namely, delay conditioning in which the CS and drug UCS overlap and are temporally contiguous. In this paper, we will further discuss this theory and others in the relationship of Pavlovian conditioning and addiction in more detail. Pavlovian Conditioning Before we discuss…show more content…
When a person first uses drugs, it is voluntary. After repeated use the user has becomes conditioned to keep using. The reason this happens is because drugs effect the brain’s reward center by filling it with dopamine. This makes the user feel pleasure by using which then makes the user want to keep using. When comparing this to classical conditioning the Neutral stimuli would be the environmental stimuli associated with drug administration, the unconditioned stimulus would be drugs effect on the brain, and the unconditioned response would be the reward received by doing drugs. After repeated use the conditioned response is now the environmental stimuli associated with drug use and the conditioned response is the reward received by doing drugs. Like with Pavlov’s dogs’ triggers response to the lab assistant and bell, Addicts can have triggers as well. Certain smalls, locations and situations can trigger and addict to use. For example, every day from work an addict sits down on their back porch and smoke a marijuana cigarette. The back porch would then become a trigger. So, every time the addict sits on their porch they then crave the marijuana cigarette. When someone is clean or sober, these triggers can lead to
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