Phobias are very common. The Association of Psychiatry defines phobia as an excessive and persistent fear of a specific thing (American Psychiatric Association, 2012). Sally, who has a dog phobia since she was in second grade because of a negative experience has anxiety when she meets someone and is asked to go to a new place where she does not know if there is a dog present or not. To explain Sally’s phobia and how it was developed theories are used on how or why she developed the fear of dogs. Phobias can be explained by classical conditions, operant conditioning, and observational learning. Overcoming phobias can be done with extinction and cognitive theory.
Phobias Are Created
Sally seems to have had a negative experience with dogs at a young age. She could have had an operant conditioning. Operant conditioning could have occurred if there was a negative reinforcer for a behavior she did. Maybe her parents punished her with a negative punishment that included dogs.
If Sally is scared of dogs it could be a classical conditioning. Her parents or someone she was close to may have told her that dogs are mean and that she needed to be afraid of dogs. She could have created this phobia from others telling her that she needed to stay away from dogs because they could bite her.
Another method that Sally could have created the phobia was from observing others that she was close to. Her parents could have been scared of dogs, and they too avoided places where dogs were until she was in second grade is when she saw the model be terrified of dogs.
Humans and animals have a neutral behavior concerning certain things. According to Ivan Pavlov’s theory of classical conditioning “a naturally occurring stimulus is paired with a response. Then, a previously neutral stimulus is paired with the naturally occurring stimulus. Eventually,... [continues]
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