Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Unconditioned Response

  • Zachary LaBrotEmail author
  • Brad Dufrene
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_1032-1



A response elicited by an unconditioned stimulus that occurs naturally to a given stimulus (Chance 2009).


Unconditioned response (UR) is a term used in the classical conditioning literature to describe an innate reflex that occurs following the presentation of an unconditioned stimulus (US) (Chance 2009). Classical conditioning (also called Pavlovian or Respondent Conditioning; Catania 2013) was brought to the scientific community’s attention by a Russian physiologist, Ivan Petrovich Pavlov, who at the time was studying the physiology of digestion in dogs. Pavlov noticed his dogs would salivate at the presence of a sound after the sound had been repeatedly paired the presence of food. Upon this discovery, Pavlov described two distinct responses, or reflexes: the UR and the conditioned response (CR).

URs are elicited by an US, which is a stimulus that is biologically relevant. Conversely,...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Southern MississippiHattiesburgUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Charlie Reeve
    • 1
  1. 1.University of North Carolina-CharlotteCharlotteUSA