Phobias And Addictions Essay

956 words - 4 pages

Phobias and Addictions
Tenina M. Brown
PSY/300
February 04, 2013
Richard Alpert

Phobias and Addictions
Phobias and Addictions are behaviors that are learned through association to a stimulus. A phobia is an irrational fear of a specific object or situation (Kowalski& Westen, 2011). Addiction is compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance. Both phobias and addictions are learned by association and by learning methods such as classical conditioning and operant conditioning.
Some phobias are believed to be developed through classical conditioning. If a neutral stimulus is paired with and unconditioned stimulus that creates an unconditioned response that causes fear, a ...view middle of the document...

They cause emotional arousal pleasure and reward (Kowalski & Westen, 2011). Serotonin is a neurotransmitter involved in the regulation of mood, sleep, eating, arousal, and pain (Kowalski & Westen, 2011). Addictions come from these substances because they are immediately rewarding. According to research, when we immediately reward a behavior people learn it more quickly.
Classical conditioning is learning a new behavior through the process of association and Operant conditioning is learning a new behavior through reinforcements, positive or negative. They are both similar in the sense they propose new forms of learning and stimulate you to respond differently to situations presented.
In Classical there are three stages. Stage one is when an unconditioned stimulus (UCS) produces and unconditioned response (UCR). Stage two is when a neutral stimulus, which gives no response, is associated with a conditioned stimulus (CS). Stage three is when the conditioned stimulus (CS) is associated with an unconditioned stimulus (UCS) to create a new conditioned response (CR). An example of Classical conditioning is if you are in a shower and you jump back every time the toilet is flushed because the water is hot, the next time you hear a toilet flush while in the shower you will jump back expecting the hot water. Jumping back is the conditioned stimulus caused by the hot water.
In Operant Conditioning, there are neutral operants, reinforcers and punishers. Neutral operants have no effect on the repetition of a behavior. Reinforcers increases the chances of a behavior being repeated and punishers decrease the chances of a behavior being repeated. An example of operant conditioning is developing an addiction to drugs. If a teenager is given methamphetamines for the first time and when they take it they get the feeling of emotional arousal, good feelings and reward. If this happens every time they take the drug, they will know that it is immediately rewarding and will associate those feelings with the methamphetamines....

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