Classical Conditioning and Operant Conditioning
Phobias in a human being are a very powerful thing. So powerful that they can be developed at a very early age, and affect the rest of our lives. There are many types of phobias, some are more common than others, such as heights, insects, or needles. I have also seen phobias as weird as pickles and rabbits! Despite how weird a phobia might be, these phobias have developed a certain way: Through classical or operant conditioning.
As far as a conditioned response goes, emotions greatly come into play. Emotions are triggered by something, or maybe someone. One famous study that proves classical conditioning can trigger a phobia, -check your punctuation -is the case of “Little Albert”. John Watson and Rosalie Rayner performed a study with a nine month old baby. They would show him a rat, and then make a loud scary noise using a steel bar. Over the course of a few months, little Albert developed a fear of the rat because of the frightening noise associated with it.
However, classical conditioning is not that simple, fears don’t just simply develop one time something bad happens. “Classical conditioning does not occur every time a bell rings, a baby startles, or a wolf eats some tainted lamb chops. Several factors influence the extent to which classical conditioning will occur.” (Robin Kowalski, Drew Westen, 2011). Learning can play a big part in classical conditioning. If a bad experience happens repeatedly with a certain object, or place, this can become a fear. Many people I have known who are afraid of dogs were bitten as a child, or have had many experiences where a dog has acted aggressively towards them. There are many arguments about what people learn through classical conditioning, however prepared learning is something people have learned over time. For example, people are