First of all, I would begin by describing my experience of learning to fear lizards with regards to classical conditioning. To give some context to the situation, I was raised in India where lizards, usually in large numbers, are often found on walls particularly during the summer months. I strongly believe that my fear of lizards can be explained using Pavlov 's "classical conditioning". Classical conditioning is the type of learning that occurs via making associations. In other words, Classical conditioning is a type of learning by which a neutral stimulus becomes associated with a meaningful stimulus and acquires the capacity to elicit a similar response (Feist, 2008, p. 449). In addition, Clark (2004) in his article," The Classical Origins of Pavlov 's Conditioning" gives a detailed insight at the origin of classical conditioning and the reasoning behind the change of Pavlov conditioning to classical conditioning (Clark, 2004).
With regards to classical conditioning, I believe my fear of lizards can be traced back to my younger years. When I was in my childhood years, I heard my older sister always screaming every time she saw a lizard; the scream infusing a fear in me. The conditioning happened as follows: Initially when I saw the lizard, I always tried to stay away from them because I thought they were disgusting. But when I heard my sister screaming every time she saw the lizard, it scared me and eventually, I developed the fear of lizard. So, after hearing my sister screaming at the lizard multiple times, I realized that I myself have developed a fear of lizard. Since then, I had learned to associate loud scream with lizard and hence developed a fear of lizard. Therefore, I believe I have been conditioned to
References: Carpenter, S. & Huffman, K. (2008). Visualizing Psychology. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Clark, R. (2004). The Classical Origins of Pavlov 's conditioning. Integrative Physiological & Behavioral Science, Oct-Dec2004, Vol. 39 Issue 4, p279-294. Retrieved on April 2, 2009 from EBSCO host database. Feist, J., & Feist, G. J. (2008) Theories of Personality (7th edition). New York: McGraw-HillSigurðardóttir, G; Sighvatsson, B (2006). Operant conditioning and errorless learning procedures in the treatment of chronic aphasia. International Journal of Psychology, Vol. 41 Issue 6, p527-540, 14p.Retrieved on April 2, 2009 from EBSCO host database. Simmons, W (1964). Operant Discrimination Learning in Human Infants, Child Development Vol. 35 Issue 3, p737. Retrieved on April 2, 2009 from EBSCO host database