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Soft Sciences Essay

1350 words - 6 pages

Addiction as it Relates to Classical and Operant Conditioning
Social phobia is also known as social anxiety which is a persistent phobia from negative assessment of others. Most people suffering from this type of phobia or social anxiety would turn to drugs and alcohol to lessen the anxiety (Lak, Sedaghat, and Almadv, & 2012), and then the self-medicated or self with illegal drugs leads to addiction. The paper essay will focus phobias and addictions as related to classical and operant conditional.
Phobia is an irrational fear of a specific object or situation. Phobias can be developed through classical conditioning. Classical conditioning is learning by stimulus from the ...view middle of the document...

Addiction as it Relates to Classical and Operant Conditioning
Operant conditioning is a learned behavior which allows humans or animals to obtain rewards or avoid punishment. Drug addiction acts as an example of operant conditioning. People who have this incurable disease lie, cheat, and sell themselves to get their drug of choice. Survival is the name of the game of life on the streets. Degradation, dereliction, and employability are some of the ways this disease manifests itself through addiction. Addiction makes a person anti-social. They forget about social graces. Some of the learned behaviors include shoplifting, burglary, armed robbery, and even sexual offenses. Addicts are people whose use of any mind-altering and mood-changing substances causes problems with everyday life. This disease expresses itself in a way that makes detection, diagnosis, and treatment difficult. Addicts are self-seeking and self-centered people. Life as an addict is a downward spiral.
Addicts are taught how to use and abuse drugs by others. No one chooses to be an addict. It is taught through operant conditioning. They are taught how to manipulate a situation in order to get what they want. They have no idea that the rewards they are seeking is helping them to slowly commit suicide. Punishment for addict includes jails, institutions, and death. Operant conditioning is very much a part of addiction. The only way to arrest addiction is to reprogram the conditioning. Reconditioning affords the addict a life of becoming acceptable, responsible, and productive members of society.

Addiction as it Relates to Classical and Operant Conditioning
The operant and classical condition theories are both essential to the development behavioral psychology but differ in concepts. According to Kowalski and Westen (2001) classical conditioning focuses on pairing involuntary responses or natural human reflexes with an environmental stimulus, whereas in operant conditioning associations are made between voluntary behavior and consequences. Ivan Pavlov’s famous “dog and bell” experiment was a great example of classical conditioning; he was able to trigger salivation from the sound of the bell by providing food almost directly after on multiple occasions. The dog eventually learned that the sound of the bell potentially meant food was coming and began to salivate.
Edward Thorndike’s cat experiment exemplifies the operant conditioning concept. Thorndike placed a hungry cat in a box with a mechanical latch, placed food outside the box and observed the cat’s behavior (Kowalski & Westen, 2011, p. 173). The cat eventually brushed up against the latch and retrieved the food. After repeating the scenario a couple of times the cat eventually discontinued the behaviors that did not open the box and displayed those that did, thus resulting in conditioned learning of what needs to happen in order to get to the food.
Addiction as it Relates to Classical and Operant...

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