Classical Conditioning

Introduced by Russian scientist Ivan Pavlov in 1927, classical conditioning is a learning process that pairs an event that elicits an organism’s response involuntarily with one that does not (a neutral stimulus). Repeated pairings of the two events cause the neutral stimulus to become “conditioned,” so that it will elicit the same response by the organism. Classical conditioning is used to treat phobias, panic attacks, and anxiety disorders in general.