Phobias and Addictions Paper
As organic beings grow and adapt to our environments we are able to experience and learn many things. As soon as we are born we start to experiment with various mediums for pleasure and for survival. The ways in which we learn have been studied and reviewed many times by many social researchers. The two most prominent forms of learning styles are labeled as Classical and Operant Conditioning. Both Styles allow individuals to perform experiments in which we find out what works, why it works, and the possible changes and outcomes that may be applied as a result. In classical conditioning, a stimulus that already leads to a response is replaced by a different ...view middle of the document...
Individuals will avoid or engage in behavior that results in the desired stimuli (Schneck, 2003).
One phobia that is common among human beings is an irrational fear of flying. This is called aviophobia. This difficult experience can cause other irrational fears to develop in the individual. A phobia develops when an individual has a fear of a thing or a fear of a situation. Phobias of flying usually occur from experiences that occur while on an airplane or in a helicopter. Individuals can also develop a phobia through watching tragic events that occur on a plane in the popular media. The recent high jacking of American planes has strengthened many aviophobias fear. The attacks on the Twin Towers and Pentagon reinforced the fear of flying for many people, and it is clear that aviophobia is one disorder that will not fade away with time.
Some Individual’s fear of flying has developed through the process of operant conditioning. B.F. Skinner found that learning involves a change in overt behavior. The behavior is then reinforced which strengthens the response. People learn through experiences, regardless of whether the experiences are good or bad. Phobias generally develop from the bad experiences. Individuals will begin to avoid the situation or thing that they fear. The fear will grow and reach the point of being irrational. The individual will experience physical and mental distress from the object of their phobia. The phobia is reinforced through repeat of the bad experience or through negative contact. Individuals will avoid the situation or object of their fear. This avoidance serves to strengthen the phobia and proves to be counterproductive.
Phobias can fulfill a need, which is why many are reluctant to confront their phobia. The individual will become accustomed to the feelings the phobia creates. The individual with a phobia will garner security and comfort from this psychological need, despite its irrational nature. Phobias create fear and anxiety. In addition, they create problems with social situations and can cause the individual to become depressed. The individual will close themselves of from society and avoid contact with the object they fear. The object or situation will continue to increase the individual’s anxiety. Phobias are be treated by the slow introduction of the object or situation that is fearful to the individual. A positive reinforcement will be paired with the negative force until the desired result occurs.
Operant conditioning can be successful in developing an understanding of aviophobia and its underlying causes. Phobias can be treated with both classical and operant conditioning effectively. Hypnosis and Energy therapy are common forms of treatment for a phobia that have proven to be successful. If a phobia is left untreated it can...