Talk:Ivan Pavlov

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Mixed up links?[edit]

Are the links in references 30 and 31 switched, or am I looking at this wrong? Also, reference 31 refers to "Pavlov's rats." But the article title itself refers to "dogs." Can we fix this or am I missing something? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:26, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

How does expirience change the behavior of worms ?[edit]

  • Habituation. If a bird flies over the worm's hole, and the worm sees the shadow, it will scurry back down. However, if this keeps happening, the worm will eventually stop scurrying whenever it sees the shadow. On the other hand, knowledgeable observers would conclude that worms are stupid, so don't try ringing bells and giving them food. Deltabeignet 03:14, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC) changed a date from 1990's to 1890's. I believe the original date was correct, and reflects increased openness of the former USSR after the end of communism. Any thoughts?Dave 17:47, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

A few extras[edit]

Hi. Here are a couple of facts that maybe would be of secondary importance to this article (they could be acknowledged in small notes): 1) Singer Aimee Mann recorded a song called Pavlov's Bell — maybe this could be mentioned as part of the popular image of bell ringing to induce behavior in the original research; 2) Webster's dictionary acknowledges the existence of the adjective "Pavlovian" (as in "Pavlovian Conditioning"). Regards, Redux 07:37, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

If you're going to mention Aimee Mann, you might also want to add that Russian-American singer Regina Spektor recorded a song called Pavlov's daughter. Lunapuella 19:04, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

I believe there is a typo in the legacy section where it says "reflex at at distance", I'm not sure if this is what he said, but at at just seems weird... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:31, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

There needs to be more about Claude Bernard and his inspiration to Pavlov. I will be editing and adding these changes. Jaguirre91019 (talk) 01:19, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

Soviet or Russian[edit]

What ist the correct way to refer to Pavlov's nationality? Most of hist lifetime he was a citizen of the Russian Empire, in his last years he was a citizen of the USSR, according to his lifedates. How should he be called - Soviet or Russian?

In such cases, the Soviet usage was to use both adjectives together, e.g. "Ivan Pavlov, a prominent Russian Soviet scientist." Don't know if this will work in English. Trapolator 18:32, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
Soviet refers to a political position and not to a nationality. That's like asking, "is Ron Paul an american or congressman?". To re-cap, soviet is a title and not a nationality.

-G —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:25, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Pavlov's laboratory[edit]

The Wikimedia Help Desk received the following e-mail regarding his laboratory.

I am writing to you regarding the factual error on the page Ivan Pavlov was working in the Institute of Experimental Medicine St.Petersburg and didn't have the lab in Moscow. The Institute keeps Pavlov's lab and his office as museum. To find more information regarding the biography and Pavlov's lab please visit

I have amended the article accordingly. Capitalistroadster 09:28, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

The types of Stimulus Pavlov used[edit]

I believe someone has given some highly spurious information:

However, his writings record the use of a wide variety of auditory stimuli, including whistles, metronomes, tuning forks and the bubbling of air through water by farting in the bath, in addition to a range of visual stimuli.

I have decided to delete the proposition that Pavlov used flatulence in his experiments.


Leningrad of St Petersburg[edit]

He would sit down to lunch at exactly 12 o'clock, he would go to bed at exactly the same time each evening, would always feed his dogs at exactly the same time every night and he would always leave Leningrad for Estonia on vacation on the same day each year. This behavior changed when his son Victor died in the White Army.

If the sentence is talking about his habits prior to the formation of the White Army, surely he was leaving St Petersburg for Estonia? This would also fit better with his destination, since after St Petersburg became Leningrad, Estonia was an independent country with extremely frosty relations with the Soviet Union, and I'm not sure how simple it would have been for a Soviet citizen to make regular visits there. Binabik80 13:01, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Removed text[edit]

An anonymous editor added the following list under the heading "Some Accomplishments and Facts". Some of the points are already in the article (which make me think copyvio) and some are nonsense, but some of the statements are useful. If anyone can 1) put a realiable source with these statements and 2)assign a date to the non-dated items, please do so and insert them into the proper place in the article.

Discovery of enterokinase, an enzyme in the duodenum that activates trypsin • Discovery Of a type of protein that speeds up a chemical reaction that transfers salt of phosphoric acid from high-energy donor molecules, such as ATP(a multifunctional chemical compound that consists of a heterocyclic base, a sugar, and one or more phosphate groups. primarily known in biochemistry as the "molecular currency" of intracellular energy transfer), to specific target molecules (substrates released by the intestinal glands in the small intestine that activates the precursor form of the pancreatic enzyme trypsin, a inactive enzyme precursor, to trypsin. • Basically…an enzyme in the duodenum that activates trypsin • Description of the neural control of the pancreas and pancreatic control as a response to different foods • Basically… How much stomach prepares, How it reacts • Demonstration that chewing and swallowing alone would cause gastric secretion • Basically... Trick Stomach and body • Observation that the mere sight of food stimulates salivary and gastric secretion. • Basically… Body prepares

• Ivan Petrovich Pavlov was born on September 14, 1849 at Ryazan

• His Father, Peter Dmitrievich Pavlov, was a village priest

• He was educated first at the church school in Ryazan

• Inspired by the progressive ideas of D. I. Pisarev, and I. M. Sechenov, Pavlov abandoned his religious career and decided to devote his life to science

• In 1870 he enrolled in the physics and mathematics faculty to take the course in natural science.

• His first work was work on the physiology of the pancreatic nerves. This work was widely acclaimed and he was awarded a gold medal for it.

• In 1875 Pavlov completed his course with an outstanding record and received the degree of Candidate of Natural Sciences.

• He decided to continue his studies and proceeded to the Academy of Medical Surgery to take the third course there.

• After a competitive examination, Pavlov won a fellowship at the Academy, and this together with his position as Director of the Physiological Laboratory at the clinic of the famous Russian clinician, S. P. Botkin.

• In 1883 he presented his doctor's thesis on the subject of «The centrifugal nerves of the heart».

• In 1890 Pavlov was invited to organize and direct the Department of Physiology at the Institute of Experimental Medicine.

• Under his direction, which continued over a period of 45 years to the end of his life, this Institute became one of the most important centers of physiological research.

• In 1890 Pavlov was appointed Professor of Pharmacology at the Military Medical Academy and five years later he was appointed to the then vacant Chair of Physiology, which he held till 1925.

• It was at the Institute of Experimental Medicine in the years 1891-1900 that Pavlov did the bulk of his research on the physiology of digestion.

• In 1903, at the 14th International Medical Congress in Madrid, Pavlov read a paper on «The Experimental Psychology and Psychopathology of Anima

• In 1881, Pavlov married Seraphima (Sara) Vasilievna Karchevskaya, a teacher, the daughter of a doctor in the Black Sea fleet.

• Dr. Pavlov died in Leningrad on February 27, 1936.

Later removed content: Related link to a (somewhat acclaimed) hardcore porn parody of his research. Several recognized literary (and porographic) groups have given the text awards, so I figure we might as well keep the link in here for anyone who is interested. Online porographic novel parodying Pavlov's experiments ~ Bwagstaff 04:23, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Pavlovian types of nervous system - where's this legacy??[edit]

Whoever wrote this page - where is the description on the huge contribution to the temperament research, the types of nervous system and the properties of nervous system, which Pavlov described? User:

Feel free to take a stab at it. That's what it's here for. Rklawton 03:24, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

I will be editing this section as well, his contribution to the types of nervous system is very important, and should be written and explained more. Jaguirre91019 (talk) 01:12, 27 February 2017 (UTC)


It seems to me that the page lacks a good description of Pavlov's famous dog experiments. It does go into the "classical conditioning" knowledge that was gained, but there's hardly anything about the experiment itself. Would it be appropriate to include more about it on this page?

Also, I've heard that Pavlov actually decapitated some dogs and showed that they salivated with the conditioned reflex of a bell, even shortly after death. Anyone know if this is true?--Grant M 11:02, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

No, its actually part of an old joke.

Ah, but what about Pavlov's cats? Martinevans123 (talk) 22:10, 2 October 2014 (UTC)


I think that Pavlov should redirect here. He must be the best-known person with that surname to English-speakers and is usually referred to by just his last name in academic discussions (plus, Pavlovian already directs here...). Am I right or what? 20:21, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Religious/Philosophical categorization[edit]

Per this edit, I did a quick Google search to try and establish Pavlov's religious views. (Note: I am not an expert in any sense of the word in this field). Several links (which appear to meet WP:RS from the first couple of Google hits (see here, here, and here) support Pavlov's ties to atheism. That said, I've restored the two categories. If other editors feel otherwise, feel free to undo that edit, but please comment here so we can work it out. -- MarcoTolo (talk) 22:37, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

  • That seems sufficient to me. Though I wish that the missing pages were accessible in the third source. I would just leave atheist though and not "former eastern orthodox christian" for the same reason that I would not add that tag to Alexander Kerensky or Lukashenko in Belarus. Particularly given the political context of the USSR and its stance on religion. Tesla on the other hand, may well qualify for this label (he chose to be cremated, wasn't under any political pressure to distance himself from the church, etc.).
While it may seem silly, people who are atheists can be culturally Orthodox. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:05, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
  • I think removing the "former eastern orthodox christian" category might be reasonable in Pavlov's case (though, again, I do not profess expertise here) - this paper makes special note of the fact that defining Pavlov as "an atheist" is strictly true, but simplifies the situation too much. Thoughts? -- MarcoTolo (talk) 23:11, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

I think a case can be made for retaining the "former eastern orthodox christian" category in Pavlov's case. When the Bolsheviks began to crack down on the Orthodox clergy, Pavlov spoke out in their defense, making note of the fact that he was himself the son of a priest. I have also read that he took to wearing religious medals at this time, not because he necessarily identified with the theology those medals represented but because by doing he could piss off the Bolsheviks. JimFarm (talk) 19:13, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

It is a bit risky to claim a soviet scientist was definitively and provably atheist in that era, given the religious persecution, and active removal of religious persons from posts of science under the soviet regime at the time. At most one can claim that, if Pavlov *was* religious, then he wasn't 'strong' enough to proclaim it openly and be a martyr for it and chose to conform to the party line so as to continue his important scientific work instead. However, it would be controversial to claim he was atheist; there are reports from the BBC during the post-war era that there was a brief fad for French scientists to convert to orthodoxy, citing as important influences "the eminent Russian christian orthodox scientists Ivan Pavlov, Vladimir Filatov and Archbishop Luka (né Valentin Voyno-Yasenetsky)" (source: "Αρχιεπίσκοπος Λουκάς", auth: Αρχιμ. Νεκταρίου Αντωνοπούλου, publ: ΑΚΡΙΤΑΣ 1999, ISBN:960-328-112-3, pp.305). If Pavlov was openly and publically recognised as atheist to his peers at the time, at the very least one would expect his name would not be on that kind of list. -- Tpapastylianou (talk) 13:24, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
A very valid point. I think maybe this should be added to the article in the form of a footnote. But a reliable English translation of that Greek source might be required. Martinevans123 (talk) 13:34, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

Pop culture[edit]

I think we need to remove this section entirely. It consists only of mentions within songs or videos - or a pro wrestler's nickname. All of these are trivial, and trivia have no place in an Encyclopedia's articles. Thoughts? Rklawton (talk) 00:53, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Nothing worth keeping, and it's attracting more. --Old Moonraker (talk) 09:24, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
I agree. ManfromButtonwillow (talk) 06:24, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
Done. --Old Moonraker (talk) 22:07, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Experiments on children[edit]

Apparently, Pavlov's experiments on the conditioned salivatory response extended to children, some of whom underwent surgical procedures for the collection of saliva - The Brain: A Secret History at Should this "detail" not be added? Martinevans123 (talk) 23:23, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

Hi, I got a message from old moonraker saying I haddn't refrenced the stuff about Pavlov doing experiments on children. I noted it had already been refrenced in the article. Anyway, I saw that on the BBC "Into the mind" series. Oh it was horroble. This guy pit in devices in their cheeks to collect saliva from their saliva glands. Really really horrible stuff. He also subjected them to electric shocks and taught chilfren to feed themselves by pushing a button, monkey like. Check out Awful stuff. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:37, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

I suppose that Pavlov had the highest scientific ideals at heart and I'm sure his experiments were not designed simply to make the chldren suffer. Things were very different in the 1890s, experimental ethics included. And of course things got very different in the Soviet era. But hasn't this particular detail been all but left out of he Psychology textbooks?
It wasn't clear to me from watching that documentary (a) exactly when the use of children took place, (b) if the procedures were performed personally by Pavlov or just overseen by him at his laboratory or (c) what became of the children - did they all return to perfectly good health. Perhaps the reference provided by Old Moonraker ((Reagan et al (2007)) might help to answer some of these questions. But the film record was indeed chilling and somewhat sinister. One thought - if this was what Pavlov had allowed to be flimed, what else may have been going on that he did not allow to be filmed? Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 20:11, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
Sorry: I can't take this much further. That reference comes from a critique of Pavlov's movie of the experiment, which was promoted in the U. S. by Walter Bradford Cannon as a defence of vivisection! It doesn't describe the experiments themselves in any detail: presumably this would have defeated the object.--Old Moonraker (talk) 20:56, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
I've just looked again at the YouTube link kindly provided by ip202. No, IPP didn't give the children electric shocks, only the dogs. And no, he didn't teach children "to feed themselves by pushing a button, monkey like". What the brief footage showed was that he did (1) operate on children to introduce a saliva-collecting fistula and then proceeded (or at least attempted) to train the conditioned salivatory reflex by means of spoon-feeding and (2) produce a conditioned mouth-opening reflex, in response to a pressure pad on the wrist (apparently restraining the child in some kind of straight-jacket device). Neither of the children shown looked particularly distressed, for whatever reason. Martinevans123 (talk) 21:23, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

Let me get this straight, you people are defending a man who performed surgery on children in the same way that he did on dogs. Bravo to you. I bet you'd also defence Joseph Mengale? You must be proud of yourselves. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:25, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

Am defending no-one, thanks. Just trying to get to the facts. I don't think 2 minutes of film footage on YouTube is really much to build a case either way. But I'm not sure that comparisons with Joseph Mengele will get us very far. Martinevans123 (talk) 08:40, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

Where might I find more resources for this article, I'm looking into expanding it for a research project at school? Samuelnp (talk) 05:21, 1 November 2011 (UTC) Since no one's objected, I will proceed today with my research and post my finding in the next few days. Samuelnp (talk) 20:52, 1 December 2011 (UTC) After searching a few data bases at the library, thanks to JSTOR, it appears that the "British Medical Journal" has a lot of articles regarding Pavlov. Samuelnp (talk) 23:50, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

Varvara Ivanovna Pavlovna[edit]

Ivan Petrovich Pavlov's mother was Vervara Ivanova Palovna but I cannot find any data on her maiden name can someone find it ad add it?Undead Herle King (talk) 23:01, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

It seems her maiden name was Varvara Ivanovna Uspénskaya but if you can provide evidence to this it would be coolUndead Herle King (talk) 23:26, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
It certainly would be cool as, currently, there is no ref to support any name at all, and the addition is at risk of being reverted as being unreliable. Martinevans123 (talk) 23:38, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
Also the dates, for both parents, don't yet have any source. Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 19:33, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Pavlov and Learning Theory[edit]

I have started looking into some literature that talks about classical conditioning and it's impact on learning/education. I plan to use this section to discuss how Pavlov's chief contribution to psychology affects education and learning. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jasperro (talkcontribs) 20:09, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

You mean this section of the Talk Page, yes? Martinevans123 (talk) 20:29, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
yes, in hopes that it will be moved to the main page. Jasperro (talk) 04:00, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

Here is a list of collected resources I plan on drawing from for the Pavlov and Learning Theory section:

Bouton, M. E. (1993). Context, time, and memory retrieval in the interference paradigms of pavlovian learning. American Psychological Association, 114 (1), 80 –99. DOI: 10.1037/0033-2909.114.1.80

Davey, G. (Eds.). (1987). Cognitive processes and pavlovian conditioning in humans. Chichester, ENG: John Wiley & Sons.

Gershman, S., Blei, D., Niv, Y. (2010). Context, leaning, and extinction. American Psychological Association, 117 (1), 197-201. DOI: 10.1037/a0017808

Mackintosh, N.J. (1974). The psychology of animal learning. New York, NY: Academic Press Inc.

Rescorla, R. A., & Wagner, A. R. (1972). A theory of Pavlovian conditioning: Variations in the effectiveness of reinforcement and no reinforcement. In A. Black & W. Prokasy (Eds.), Classical conditioning ii: Current research and theory (pp. 64 –99). New York, NY: Appleton Century-Crofts

Tarpy, R. M. (1975). Basic principles of learning. Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman and Company.

William Moore, J., Manning, S. A., Smith, W. I. (1978). Conditioning and instrumental learning. New Work, NY: McGraw-Hill Book Company.

Jasperro (talk) 03:59, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

I am proposing a new updated lead section on this article that includes a brief summary of Pavlov's contributions to learning theory. This new lead section is as follows:

Ivan Petrovich Pavlov (Russian: Ива́н Петро́вич Па́влов; IPA: [ɪˈvan pʲɪˈtrovʲɪtɕ ˈpavləf] ( listen); 26 September [O.S. 14 September] 1849 – 27 February 1936) was a Russian physiologist known primarily for his work in classical conditioning and physiology of digestion.[1] From his childhood days Pavlov demonstrated intellectual brilliance along with an unusual energy which he named "the instinct for research".[1] Inspired by the progressive ideas which D. I. Pisarev, the most eminent of the Russian literary critics of the 1860s and I. M. Sechenov, the father of Russian physiology, were spreading, Pavlov abandoned his religious career and decided to devote his life to science. In 1870 he enrolled in the physics and mathematics faculty at the University of Saint Petersburg to take the course in natural science.[2] Ivan Pavlov devoted his life to the study of physiology and sciences, making several remarkable discoveries and developing ideas that contributed to the development of learning theory in psychology. [3] He won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1904,[1][4] becoming the first Russian Nobel laureate. In 1929, Pavlov received a second nomination for a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his groundbreaking research in of physiology of higher nervous activity[1]. A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Pavlov as the 24th most cited psychologist of the 20th century.[5]

Jasperro (talk) 23:34, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

The changes you are proposing seem to be the following additions:
... and physiology of digestion.[1]
... and developing ideas that contributed to the development of learning theory in psychology.[3]
... In 1929, Pavlov received a second nomination for a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his groundbreaking research in of physiology of higher nervous activity[1].
with that new Samoilov source [1] in two places. I have no objection to those changes. But you might be advised to remember that the lede section should summarise the whole article. So any new material or sources should really be added to the main body first. There is no requirement to cite sources in the lede, provided they appear in the appropriate place later. Martinevans123 (talk) 09:12, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for the feedback! I plan to propose my new section in the coming weeks (Pavlov and Learning Theory), at that point the new material will be added to the main body under the new section I am developing and then the lead can be updated again if need be. Jasperro (talk) 19:08, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

Fine. As I said, it's usually wise to leave updating the lede section until last, after all new material has been agreed and added. Otherwise questions of WP:WEIGHT can arise. Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 19:13, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

Hello everyone, I have added my section, Pavlov on Education, as well as a short sentence accounting for my addition in the lead. If you would like to take a look at where I've been working on it, here's a link to my sandbox:

Thanks! Jasperro (talk) 13:15, 22 July 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ a b Samoilov, Vladmir O. (1997). "Ivan Petrovich Pavlov (1849-1936)". Journal of the History of the Neurosciences. 16 (1-2): 74–89. doi:10.1080/09647040600793232. Retrieved 3 July 2015. 

Pavlovs Experimentation on children[edit]

This seems to have been missed for some reason. The "pavlos dogs" experiment was also done on children where they where surgically altered so their saliva could be collected as they where held in a device for hours on end waiting for the bell to ring before a piece of chocolate rolled down the tub and into their mouth...--PAVLOVSKIDS (talk) 07:05, 18 October 2015 (UTC)

Yeah, sure. Sjö (talk) 07:08, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
Also claimed by BBC - see the discussion thread above. Sounds unbelievable, doesn't it. But that doesn't mean it's not true. Martinevans123 (talk) 07:58, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
OK, I jumped the gun there. I'd still like to see better sources, though. The Youtube and BBC link aren't available in my country. Sjö (talk) 17:06, 18 October 2015 (UTC)