Defining Philosophy

Topics: Acrophobia, Fear, Phobia Pages: 3 (796 words) Published: November 1, 2010
Fear of heights or what is known as acrophobia, is one of the most common types of specific phobia that is associated to depression and other anxiety disorders. This paper will describe how a man became afraid of heights as a child due to a traumatic experience and how his acrophobia is still found in the present day.

As a child this man was like any other small child around three years of age, there was a day that his father decided to take him to the airport to watch planes land and take-off. The father set the boy on the top of a closed large dumpster for a place to watch the planes for a moment. The father looked away for a split-second and noticed the boy had fallen off the dumpster to the ground. The boy did not have any major injuries other than a few stitches under the chin. Since that day the boy has grown into a man and has no recollection of the experience, however, the man has a fear of heights.

There really is not a way to determine whether this traumatic event caused the man’s acrophobia. The culprit could be that he was just born with this fear of heights or through childhood life events and falling down or other mishaps. If the traumatic experience is to blame for the fear, it could be considered an unconditioned or a conditioned response. Some could say that the experience was a one-time conditioning experience, while others may say that there wasn’t much learning involved with that type of experience. If the man was born with the fear of heights it would be considered an unconditioned stimulus. It is an unconditioned stimulus because the fear would be programmed into the brain without any life events as interference. If the acrophobia was caused by the falling down, childhood life events and mishaps it would be considered conditioned response. A conditioned response is through falling down and teaching the brain that it should be afraid to do certain things that may potentially hurt or cause pain to the body.

Through operant...
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