Addictions and Phobias Essay
Week Two Assignment
PSY/300 – General Psychology
October 20, 2012 This is an essay concerning phobias and addictions. Four selected topics in four specific sections are what this paper is comprised of. These topic are:
1. How phobias can be developed through classical conditioning.
2. How addictions can be developed through operant conditioning.
3. Distinguish between classical and operant conditioning.
4. The meaning of "extinction" and how it is achieved in both classical and operant conditioning.
How phobias can be developed through classical conditioning "A phobia is a group of symptoms brought on by an object or situation that causes a person to feel irrational fear" …show more content…
"Operant conditioning, developed by B. F. Skinner, states that a person is more likely to repeat a behavior if it is followed by a positive outcome or the removal of a negative one. These outcomes are called positive and negative reinforcements. Therefore, a person is more likely to drink or drug again if the episodes are continually followed by positive or negative reinforcements. A positive reinforcement to drinking or drugging could be a feeling of camaraderie, fun or approval of one's peers. A negative reinforcement could be the removal of a feeling of loneliness, low self-worth, boredom, or even the pain of a hangover or withdrawal symptoms. There are some successful experiments that reward people not to use drugs or alcohol, thereby positively reinforcing abstinence. The concept of enabling could fit into this model because the person doing the enabling is seen as removing the negative consequences of a person's addiction, therefore negatively reinforcing the drinking or drugging. The extra attention from the enabler could also serve