Phobia Essay

777 WordsMar 5, 20134 Pages
Phobias and Addictions Classical conditioning just involves the pairing of stimuli and the association that results between the two. Classical conditioning, also known as “Pavlovian conditioning.” A behavior that would normally be the result of one stimulus becomes the result of the other also due to the association created. Pavlov's dogs salivating at the sound of the bell they'd come to associate with being fed is an example of this conditioning. Classical conditioning only has one mechanism, association, to affect learning (Kowalski & Westen, 2011). By pairing the situation with something pleasant Little Albert could have terminated his phobia of the white rat, which is called counter conditioning. Classical conditioning can cause a phobia. A phobia is an unreasonable, uncontrollable fear of a given object or situation and can develop in a variety of ways, including conditioning. Phobias can be acquired through classical conditioning by pairing a neutral stimulus with something that really causes pain. Phobia responses can be permanent unless the organism is subjected to the extinction process. In the extinction process, one must confront the fear without the presence of the unconditioned stimulus. For example, in Watson’s experiment, Little Albert developed a phobia of white rats (and other furry objects) as a result of pairing the white rat with a loud bang. The phobia could have been extinguished by repeatedly exposing Little Albert to the white rat without the loud bang. Another type of associative learning is operant conditioning. Unlike classical conditioning, operant conditioning however, has four separate mechanisms, positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, positive punishment, and negative punishment, which bring about learning (Kowalski and Westen, 2011). Operant conditioning requires that the subject perform some action, and

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