Phobias and Addictions Paper

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Phobias and Addictions Paper Lauren Looney PSY 300 Genevieve Molina Many people have a phobia or an addiction at one point in life. A phobia, which five percent of the population has at least one of, is an irrational fear (Kowalski & Westen, 2011). An addiction is a state of dependency upon something such as a drug or a behavior. Both phobias and addictions have been accounted for by learning theorists. Phobias and addictions can be developed through different learning methods that have been used throughout the person’s life. There are different methods of learning that have been used throughout the years. Among these are classical conditioning and operant conditioning. Classical conditioning uses a conditioned and unconditioned stimulus to achieve specific behaviors. With this form of conditioning, the environmental response produces a behavior. The other form of conditioning, operant conditioning uses a stimulus in the form of a reward or punishment to either obtain a certain behavior or avoid that behavior. With this conditioning method the behavior produces the environmental response. While both methods are used to teach something, in the results of a specific behavior, extinction can occur in both methods as well. For example, if you use operant conditioning to reward a child then stop using the reward, the desire to continue this behavior will weaken. If you use classical conditioning, and remove the unconditioned stimulus, and continue using the conditioned stimulus, the resulting behavior that is learned will weaken. Classical conditioning has been proposed as an explanation to the formation of some phobias that people experience (Kowalski & Westen, 2011). Classical conditioning is a learning method that uses stimuli to create a response (Kowalski & Westen, 2011). The response can be positive or negative. For example, if the stimulus is

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