General Psychology

Topics: Classical conditioning, Operant conditioning, Behaviorism Pages: 4 (1344 words) Published: August 27, 2012
Phobias and Addictions

Phobias and Addictions
Today, there are so many people who have phobias and addictions. Some of their phobias and addictions may be considered quite strange, while others are considered one of the normal. Either way, their phobias and addictions had to start somewhere or as a result from something. Classical conditioning and operant conditioning could be the cause of phobias and addictions. However, they could also help or make things worse for a person with the phobia or addiction, through the process of extinction. Phobias Through Classical Conditioning

Classical conditioning, a theory developed by Ivan Pavlov, is a learning process that occurs through association between an environmental stimulus and a naturally occurring stimulus Kowalski & Westen, 2011). Pavlov did an experiment with dogs, sound, and their salivating reflex in response to food. The dogs began to salivate at the sound of a bell because it was paired with their food (Cherry, n.d.). Phobias are persistent irrational fears of an object, situation, or activity and can interfere with your life (Smith, Segal, & Segal, 2012). Classical condition could also cause phobias to develop. Phobias

Perhaps one day a person hears the sound of a car honking its horn and then sees the car crash into something or maybe even them. They may develop a phobia of car horns or driving in general. The sound of the horn is not the cause of the phobia, but rather the fact that the person has become conditioned to fear a crash when they hear the honking of a horn. A phobia we hear a lot of people say that they have is claustrophobia; the fear of enclosed spaces. Maybe one day a person was in an elevator, and they had a panic attack, they will most likely try to avoid elevators at all cost. The elevator itself is not the cause of the panic attack; however, because the panic attack happened in the elevator, the person is conditioned to think that they will have a panic attack if...

References: Antczak, A. (2011). Classical and Operant Conditioning: Phobias and Addictions. Retrieved from
Cherry, K. (n.d.). Introduction to Classical Conditioning. Retrieved from
Cherry, K. (n.d.). What is Extinction?. Retrieved from
Extinction. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Heffner, C. L. (n.d.). Psychology 101 Chapter 4: Learning Theory and Behavioral Psychology. Retrieved from
Kowalski, R., Westen, D. (2011). Psychology (6th ed.). Retreived from the University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.
Smith, M., Segal, R., & Segal, J. (2012). Phobias and Fears. Retrieved from
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