Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov believed there are some things that aren’t taught. He identified the application of classical conditioning by working with the idea that unconditioned stimulus triggers an unconditioned response. 

Pavlov conducted several experiments to understand behavior, including the famous one with dogs and a bell. He rang a bell every time he fed the dogs and, after a while, found the bell acted as a stimulus associated with food. The dogs were classically conditioned and salivated whenever they heard the bell, expecting food from their master. There are many such classical or Pavlovian conditioning examples in daily life.

Below we’ll discuss classical conditioning examples in everyday life and the application of classical conditioning.


  1. What Is Classical Conditioning?

  2. Application Of Classical Conditioning

  3. Classical Conditioning Examples In Everyday Life


What Is Classical Conditioning?

Classical or Pavlovian conditioning examples are a major influence when working with behaviorism. Behaviorism assumes that the environment shapes behavior and therefore interacting with the environment is crucial for learning to occur. Through examples of classical conditioning, we see that it’s a process of learning resulting from associations between a naturally occurring stimulus and an environmental stimulus. Using Pavlov’s dogs as examples of classical conditioning, we can determine the three phases of this conditioning process:


  • The ‘before conditioning’ phase is when the response is natural and uninfluenced. The dogs salivate when they see food
    When the conditioning takes place, or during conditioning, the dogs learn to associate the bell with food
  • In ‘after conditioning’ they start salivating whenever they hear the bell. Here, their response is influenced by the bell which acts as the stimulus


These three stages are constant. We see this in examples of classical conditioning in humans, be it workplace conditioning or classical conditioning examples in the classroom. Behaviorists found conditioning to be associated with different phenomena. Pavlovian conditioning examples show us changes in the pattern of response, its establishment as well as its disappearance. Classical conditioning happens unconsciously and can be used to pair a specific stimulus with an automatic conditioned response. All principles and phases of conditioning can be highlighted in various examples of classical conditioning in everyday life


Application Of Classical Conditioning

Examples of classical conditioning in humans explain many aspects of behavior. It has a crucial role in emotional responses, hunger and psychotherapy. Classical conditioning examples in the classroom show us how it’s applied in schools. Let’s look at the application of classical conditioning:

  • Classical conditioning examples in everyday life can be used to study how one stimulus can generate both positive and negative emotional responses in different people. A person may get excited thinking about mountains while the other may associate fear with the dangers of hilly terrains
  • Addiction is one of the best examples of classical conditioning in humans as it dictates a person’s state of mind. An addict craves the substance they’re using. Classical conditioning processes can be studied to identify dependencies in individuals
  • Classical conditioning examples in the classroom show how strict teachers make students associate fear and apathy with going to school. They can be used to promote a pleasant school atmosphere
  • Examples of classical conditioning present a clear picture of how people with post-traumatic disorders can be assisted through recovery. It helps pinpoint the exact experience that triggers anxiety and fear in a person


The application of classical conditioning extends to the world of advertising as well. Brands associate with popular and known personalities or use mascots for certain products. This reminds consumers of the product and stimulates them to consume more.


Classical Conditioning Examples In Everyday Life

Let’s look at a few common examples of classical conditioning:

  • Fear Of Animals

    This is probably one of the most commonly seen examples of classical conditioning in day-to-day life. People may fear dogs, snakes or insects because of particular experiences or hearsay. People with such fears are classically conditioned to feel scared and anxious even if they think about these creatures


  • Similar Ringtones

    When in public, notice how a person immediately reaches for their pocket when they hear a ringtone similar to theirs. This is a case of stimulus generalization, where they’re conditioned to reach for their phones as soon as they hear a familiar sound


  • Strict Teachers

    The behavior of students in the presence of a strict teacher is a telling classical conditioning example in the classroom. Even the most mischievous students are classically conditioned to be on their best behavior when they want to avoid severe repercussions.

People or other subjects may not respond like Pavlov’s dogs, but still, classical conditioning finds its applications in the real world. The process can be successfully used to cure phobia and anxiety, create a positive workplace atmosphere and as a smart advertising strategy.


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