Mary E. Aikens
September 26, 2010
Phobias and Addictions
Classical and Operant conditioning are ways in which a person learns. Classical conditioning is a learned response and operant conditioning is a response through the environment. Phobias can develop through learning. Classical conditioning can teach a person to fear, such as a small child can learn to fear needles because of immunization injections received in a doctor’s office or clinic. Operant conditioning can teach a person to be compulsive, such as someone who needs to count poles as the walk by them, or count objects. Operant conditioning also can be a learned sense that is achieved through the environment such as a reward or consequence from an action. Classical and operant conditioning help a person learn but both of these types of learning can be unlearned through extinction. Phobias can be developed through classical conditioning, and addictions can be learned from operant conditioning, removing this type of conditioning is done with extinction. Classical Conditioning and Phobias
Classical conditioning has a link to phobias; these phobias can develop at a young age and carry through adulthood. One such phobia is a fear of needles. When a young child receives immunizations the initial shock and sting from the hypodermic needle can cause severe emotional reaction. The emotional reaction can cause an adult who has this phobia to pass out or faint at the sight of a needle. The phobia was developed through a negative response. As with little Albert the phobia can be stronger than just the item the fears other things associated with object may cause a negative reaction, such as going to the doctor because of a chance of receiving an injection. The phobia can progress were the person will avoid doctors altogether, or any situation that may involve hypodermic needles. Can the fear be lost? Extinction in classical conditioning occurs when a...