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Public Speaking Phobia Essay

  • Submitted by: Cowboi
  • on October 23, 2012
  • Category: Psychology
  • Length: 1,556 words

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Below is an essay on "Public Speaking Phobia" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Bill was 28 and recalls not especially liking giving speeches when he was in high school and avoided speech class in college until his senior year.   His current job just promoted him and his new position requires public speaking on a weekly basis.   He tried to avoid public speaking and keeping his new position but was not finding a way around it. The cognitive and behavioral theories will help explain how Bill acquired this fear and how he can be cured of it.   The three ways Bill could have developed this phobia are operational conditioning, classical conditioning, and observational conditioning. Through a process called extinction, Bill could be relieved of this phobia.   The cognitive theory could also be applied to help Bill overcome his phobia.
Skinner’s operant conditioning theories provided the foundation for the view on behaviorism (Cervone & Pervin, 2010).   The operant conditioning theory is the term Skinner uses for the process through which a response is determined by its consequences (Cervone & Pervin, 2010).   As cited by Wegner, 2003, this theory concludes that we do not have conscious control of our behavior that in all actuality, the environment controls our behavior (Cervone & Pervin, 2010).   The role of the behaviorist is to identify how there becomes change as a result of environmental input (Cervone & Pervin, 2010).  
One position in the behaviorist view is determinism (Cervone & Pervin, 2010).   Determinism explains how one thing occurs in result to something else and that can be identified through basic laws of science (Cervone & Pervin, 2010).   This could be a contributing factor in the story of Bill who has a public speaking phobia.   Bill recalls not liking to give speeches in high school and college as well as in his current position where he is required to do so.   This fear could have been caused by unconscious negative reinforcement early in his childhood (Cervone & Pervin, 2010).   In some cases like this, determinism is the likely...

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