Phobias and Addictions

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Phobias and Addictions
Briana Lee
June 14, 2011
Kaisa Freeman

Phobias and Addictions
Two emotional difficulties that learning theorists can account for are phobias and addictions. Through the use of both operant and classical conditioning, theorist may one day be able to understand phobias and addictions and guide sufferers to a place of better mental health. At the moment, theorists believe that sufferers are at the point of making irrational choices. Theorists hope is that they will be able to guide the sufferers to making rational decisions.

Being afraid of something occurs in 100 percent of the human population. Being so afraid of that something to the point of chills, sweating, or even passing out, takes the fear to a level that not all humans are familiar with. Turning a fear of something from rational to irrational is how phobias become a reality for so many. A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder which makes a person experience an increased level of fear to something that poses little or no actual danger. There are several hundred different types of phobias in the world today. Some may seem odd to some people while others understand there points exactly. Phobias are linked to the Pavlovian model, also called classical conditioning.

Classical Conditioning
Classical conditioning was first used by Ivan Pavlov, a Russian physiologist. “Classical conditioning was the first type of learning to be studied systematically” (Kowalski & Westen, 2009). Classical conditioning occurs when there is an interaction between two different stimuli, environmental and a naturally occurring stimulus. There are four different types of processes that can be associated with classical conditioning. They include: The unconditioned stimulus, the unconditioned response, the conditioned stimulus and the conditioned response. The most popular example of this is when Pavlov was studying dog’s digestive tracks and would ring a bell every...
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