Psychology Learning Resources
Ivan Pavlov and Pavlovian Conditioning

Concept Definition: Short Delay Conditioning

Important characteristics of Short Delay Conditioning:

  • CS onset precedes US onset by about 1 second.
  • Generally produces the strongest and most rapid conditioning, although optimum interval varies depending on several other variables.
graph showing that CS onset precedes US onset by one second

Consider the unconditioned reflex whereby food elicits (US) elicits salivation (UR). In Short Delay Conditioning, a tone (NS) might sound immediately before the food (US) is presented. Consequently, the tone (CS) may come to elicit salivation (CR) even in the absence of food. The eliciting effect of the tone would probably be greater than compared to any other temporal relation between it and the food delivery.