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Video clips are a great way to introduce and reinforce the concepts and steps to classical conditioning. When I first started teaching the course, students had a very difficult time understanding the concepts of classical conditioning. It might be safer to say, I had a difficult time presenting the material in a clear, understandable way.

Since those first years, students are now presented with two mnemonic devices, an additional helpful step to the equation, and some video clips of classical conditioning. At the end of the unit, more students have a much better understanding of classical conditioning.

The use of smartboards and youtube has made it very effective to find clips to support the learning of classical conditioning. For example the Pavlov’s dog clip is from a video series my school owns. Very often I only show clips of the video. Be able to access the same clip from my computer is so much more convenient.
This is a great clip to illustrate 2 examples of classical conditioning. The cartoon of the dog is a great visual to help many of the students understand the steps of classical conditioning. The narrator, Phil Zimbardo is a very important psychologist who is famous for his Stanford Prison Experiment.
It might be helpful to pause the video after the cartoon of the dog (3:11) to write out the equation. (See below)

Pavlov’s Dog

After the cartoon clip of the dog or at the end of the video, have the students copy:
Helpful step   BELL                                              —X—>          SALIVATION
Step #1           X                      +          FOOD         ——>        SALIVATION
Step #2           BELL         +          FOOD        ——>         SALIVATION
Step #3           BELL          +          X                   ——>          SALIVATION

Continue the clip. The speaker gives another example of classical conditioning. Have the students attempt to write a classical conditioning equation for the gun segment. It might be helpful to give the students some hints as they attempt to write out this equations. Ask “What happens naturally (step #1)?
Helpful step   “RELAX”                        —X—>                           STARTLED
Step #1           X                      +          GUN SHOT      ——>        STARTLED
Step #2           “RELAX”         +          GUN SHOT    ——>          STARTLED
Step #3           “RELAX”         +          X                      ——>          STARTLED