Ivan Pavlov Quotes

Who is Ivan Pavlov?

Ivan Pavlov was a Russian physiologist known primarily for his work in classical conditioning of drooling dogs.

Born September 26, 1849
Died February 27, 1936

Books by Ivan Pavlov


Best 30 Quotes by Ivan Pavlov

“Appetite, craving for food, is a constant and powerful stimulator of the gastric glands. But man has still another powerful resource: natural science with its strictly objective methods.”

“Do not become a mere recorder of facts, but try and penetrate the mystery of their origin.”

“From the described experiment it is clear that the mere act of eating, the food even not reaching the stomach, determines the stimulation of the gastric glands.”

“Gradualness, gradualness, and gradualness. From the very beginning of your work, school yourself to severe gradualness in the accumulation of knowledge.”

“I am convinced that an important stage of human thought will have been reached when the physiological and the psychological, the objective and the subjective, are actually united, when the tormenting conflicts or contradictions between my consciousness and my body will have been factually resolved or discarded.”

“If we could look through the skull into the brain of a consciously thinking person, and if the place of optimal excitability were luminous, then we should see playing over the cerebral surface, a bright spot with fantastic, waving borders constantly fluctuating in size and form, surrounded by a darkness more or less deep, covering the rest of the hemisphere.”

“In the case of the stomach, however, the nerves of the glandular cells were always severed when constructing an artificially isolated pouch and this, naturally, affected the normal work of the stomach.”

“In the dog two conditions were found to produce pathological disturbances by functional interference, namely, an unusually acute clashing of the excitatory and inhibitory processes, and the influence of strong and extraordinary stimuli. In man precisely similar conditions constitute the usual causes of nervous and psychic disturbances. Different conditions productive of extreme excitation, such as intense grief or bitter insults, often lead, when the natural reactions are inhibited by the necessary restraint, to profound and prolonged loss of balance in nervous and psychic activity.”

“It has long been known for sure that the sight of tasty food makes a hungry man's mouth water; also lack of appetite has always been regarded as an undesirable phenomenon, from which one might conclude that appetite is essentially linked with the process of digestion.”

“It is clear to all that the animal organism is a highly complex system consisting of an almost infinite series of parts connected both with one another and, as a total complex, with the surrounding world, with which it is in a state of equilibrium.”

“It is not accidental that all phenomena of human life are dominated by the search for daily bread – the oldest link connecting all living things, man included, with the surrounding nature.”

“Learn the ABC of science before you try to ascend to its summit.”

“Learn, compare, collect the facts!”

“Men are apt to be much more influenced by words than by the actual facts of the surrounding reality.”

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“Never think that you already know all. However highly you are appraised, always have the courage to say to yourself: I am ignorant.”

“One can truly say that the irresistible progress of natural science since the time of Galileo has made its first halt before the study of the higher parts of the brain, the organ of the most complicated relations of the animal to the external world. And it seems, and not without reason, that now is the really critical moment for natural science; for the brain, in its highest complexity-the human brain-which created and creates natural science, itself becomes the object of this science.”

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“Contentment is the only real wealth.”


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“Perfect as the wing of a bird may be, it will never enable the bird to fly if unsupported by the air. Facts are the air of science. Without them a man of science can never rise.”

“Possibilities are like the wings of birds; they allow man to soar and to climb to the heavens. And facts are like the atmosphere against which those wings must beat, and without which the soaring bird will surely plummet back to earth.”

“School yourself to demureness and patience. Learn to inure yourself to drudgery in science. Learn, compare, collect the facts.”

“Science demands from a man all his life. If you had two lives that would not be enough for you. Be passionate in your work and in your searching.”

“The physiologist who succeeds in penetrating deeper and deeper into the digestive canal becomes convinced that it consists of a number of chemical laboratories equipped with various mechanical devices.”

“When the dog is repeatedly teased with the sight of objects inducing salivary secretion from a distance, the reaction of the salivary glands grows weaker and weaker and finally drops to zero.”

“While you are experimenting, do not remain content with the surface of things.”

Conditioned Reflexes Quotes

“It is still open to question whether psychology is a natural science, or whether it can be regarded as a science at all.”

Conditioned Reflexes

Essential Works Quotes

“As was to be expected, the discovery of the nervous apparatus of the salivary glands immediately impelled physiologists to seek a similar apparatus in other glands lying deeper in the digestive canal.”

Essential Works

“Mankind will possess incalculable advantages and extraordinary control over human behavior when the scientific investigator will be able to subject his fellow men to the same external analysis he would employ for any natural object, and when the human mind will contemplate itself not from within but from without.”

Essential Works

Experimental Psychology Quotes

“As we have seen, bread, and especially dry bread, evokes secretion of considerably larger quantities of saliva than meat.”

Experimental Psychology

“Edible substances evoke the secretion of thick, concentrated saliva. Why? The answer, obviously, is that this enables the mass of food to pass smoothly through the tube leading from the mouth into the stomach.”

Experimental Psychology

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“It goes without saying that the desire to accomplish the task with more confidence, to avoid wasting time and labour, and to spare our experimental animals as much as possible, made us strictly observe all the precautions taken by surgeons in respect to their patients.”

Experimental Psychology

“Physiology has, at last, gained control over the nerves which stimulate the gastric glands and the pancreas.”

Experimental Psychology

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“We do not choose survival as a value, it chooses us.”


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