Air gun psychology

An amusing YouTube video demonstrates Ivan Pavlov’s principal of classical conditioning with an air gun, a novelty alarm and a reluctant college roommate.

Pavlov discovered that we learn to associate an established response to a new event simply by repeatedly pairing the new event to a situation that already caused the response. Famously he could trigger salivation in a dog just with the sound of a bell, simply by ringing a bell every time food was presented.

This video uses exactly the same principle, but instead of food, an airgun pellet is fired at a college roommate causing a painful reaction, and instead of a bell, an annoying novelty alarm is sounded.

Science. Standing on the shoulders of giants.

Link to YouTube video.


  1. John King
    Posted September 9, 2010 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile to do a study on fear conditioning I need a £10k optically isolated stimulator and months of work in the ethics committee…

  2. Posted November 20, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Your blog was very interesting and enjoyable to read and experience.

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