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The more I think about the difference between learning and Pavlovian conditioning, the more I'm unable to see how they differ. Even though in theory associative learning is just a portion of learning.

Here is the classical conditioning:

What if we have an observer watching the process? I think that even when the food and the bell are not for them, the fact that they observe their effects to the dog can lead them to a condition response as well. The process is as follow:

  • Before conditioning: the observer has a belief that that food will make the dog excretes salivation, but bell alone is not. We say that the belief "food will make the dog excretes salivation" is an unconditioned belief, and "bell won't make the dog excretes salivation" a no-conditioned belief.
  • After conditioning: the observer has a new belief that "bell alone will still make the dog excretes salivation". This belief is a conditioned belief.

We have this analogy:

  • Unconditioned observation: Observe that the dog is fed
  • Conditioned observation: Observe that the dog hears the bell
  • Conditioned belief: Food will make the dog salivating
  • Unconditioned belief: Bell alone will still make the dog salivating

Am I missing something?

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    $\begingroup$ Classical conditioning is one type of learning. Check out the other types there, and also see how classical conditioning is a very specific paradigm. Quoting from Wikipedia: "Though it is sometimes hard to distinguish classical conditioning from other forms of associative learning (e.g. instrumental learning and human associative memory), a number of observations differentiate them, especially the contingencies whereby learning occurs" $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Aug 26 at 15:12
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    $\begingroup$ A conditioned belief is not a conditioned response (the observer does not salivate), hence ... different. $\endgroup$ – Arnon Weinberg Aug 26 at 15:40
  • $\begingroup$ Related: Are association, conditioning, and symbolic learning the same thing? $\endgroup$ – Arnon Weinberg Aug 26 at 17:14
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    $\begingroup$ @ArnonWeinberg I see. In Pavlov experiment, the unconditioned response and conditioned response is the same (excreting salivate), while in my analogy, the unconditioned belief is not the same with the conditioned belief $\endgroup$ – Ooker Aug 27 at 9:48
  • $\begingroup$ You said it better than I did. :-) $\endgroup$ – Arnon Weinberg Aug 27 at 16:01
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  1. In Pavlov experiment, the unconditioned response and conditioned response is the same (both are salivating). In the analogy, the unconditioned belief is not the same with the conditioned belief.

  2. In Pavlov experiment, the unconditioned response can only happen after the unconditioned stimulus. In the analogy, the unconditioned belief can be recalled ("activated") even though there is no unconditioned observation.

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