Phobias and Addictions Essay

860 Words 4 Pages
Phobias and Addictions
Camille Sere'
October 2, 2012
Shari Tumlin

Phobias and Addictions
In this paper I will be discussing phobias and addictions in relation to classical and operant conditioning. I will research and explore how phobias can be developed through classical conditioning, and how addictions can be developed through operant conditioning. I will also explain what extinction means in psychology and how it is achieved in both classical and operant conditioning.
The first thing you need to know is what exactly a phobia is. A phobia is an uncontrollable fear of an object or situation that is unreasonable and can develop in many ways; one of these ways is through conditioning. People have fears all the time, but
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The next thing to be discussed is addiction. Addiction can be defined in many ways, but according to addiction is “the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma (2012). Addiction can be developed through operant conditioning, because with operant conditioning a behavior is learned or repeated based on what the end result will be. Operant conditioning is also known as instrumental learning. Operant conditioning is a reward based system, for example, a drug addict takes their drug of choice, they get their rush or whatever feeling it is they get from it which is rewarding to them. Eventually the feeling starts to go away faster which in turn causes them to use or take that drug more often or in higher doses, or in some cases both more often and in higher doses.
The processes of classical and operant conditioning are very different, but they both result in learning a response. Both types of conditioning modify behaviors, but in different ways. Classical conditioning involves using neutral stimuli and focuses on reflexes, involuntary behaviors, and reactive behaviors. Operant conditioning involves punishments and positive reinforcements after a behavior or reaction. One of the main differences is with operant conditioning the person or subject is given

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