How did the behavioural study of learning develop? rise of learning theory in early 20th century was due in part to dissatisfaction among some psychologists with widespread use of verbal reports to assess mental states. Watson argued that freudian theory was unscientific and ultimately meaningless. Overt behaviour was the only valid indicator of psychological activity. John locke tabula rasa states that infants are born knowing nothing and that all knowledge is acquired through sensory experiences, behaviourism stated that environment and its associated effects on organisms were the sole determinants of learning. Behavioural responses are conditioned presented to hungry animals, including humans. Pavlov was interested in salivary reflect, the automatic and unlearned response that occurs when stimulus of food is. Classical conditioning involves more than contiguity contiguity, would produce a learned association. Pavlov"s original explanation for classical conditioning was that any two events presented at the same time, in.