JAMES C. HAUGHT - A "Breaking Wind" Conditioned Response

By James C. Haught

Ivan Pavlov beat me by 40 years discovering conditioned responses. He ring a bell every time he fed his dogs. After awhile he noticed that the dogs would drool when he rang just the bell.

In summer of 1942 I had a similar experience on Spring Run in Calhoun County.

My grandmother, Lydia Hoskins and I walked down to Arnoldsburg to buy groceries. My grandmother stopped at the home of Monroe and Drusilla King and ask them if they needed anything from the store. They needed a couple of items.

Ma purchased the items and when we got to the King house she told me to deliver the items to the house. Monroe King was sitting in a rocking chair in the living room. There were three dogs on he floor next to his chair.

I sat down and we talked.

Drusilla had a hearing problem. She was in the kitchen. Mr. King said, "Watch this."

He proceeded to break wind. At the first sound the dogs nearly tore the screen door off its hinges trying to get outside.

After a brief interval, enough to let the smell permeate the house, Mrs. King came through the kitchen door with a broom ready to flail any dog in sight.

Mr King just sit there, chewing his tobacco with a smile on his face. Neither Monroe King or I had ever heard of Ivan Pavlov, but we both understood the concept of a conditioned response.