Relationship between phobias and classical conditioning

The classical conditioning explanation of phobias | Steve Baldwin -

relationship between phobias and classical conditioning

Classical conditioning basically involves forming an association between As a result of this pairing, an association between the previously . This experiment illustrates how phobias can form through classical conditioning. Classical conditioning (also known as Pavlovian conditioning) is learning through association and was discovered by Pavlov, a Russian physiologist. . In addition, the Watson and Rayner found that Albert developed phobias of objects which . It is more likely that behavior is due to an interaction between nature ( biology). Classical conditioning is a theory of pairing one stimulus with another To me it seems like in a way phobias can be learned through classical conditioning. in favor of looking at the relationship between nature and nurture.

relationship between phobias and classical conditioning

This was done seven times over the next seven weeks, and each time Little Albert burst into tears. By now little Albert only had to see the rat and he immediately showed every sign of fear. He would cry whether or not the hammer was hit against the steel bar and he would attempt to crawl away.

In addition, the Watson and Rayner found that Albert developed phobias of objects which shared characteristics with the rat; including the family dog, a fur coat, some cotton wool and a Father Christmas mask! This process is known as generalization. Watson and Rayner had shown that classical conditioning could be used to create a phobia.

relationship between phobias and classical conditioning

A phobia is an irrational fear, i. Over the next few weeks and months, Little Albert was observed and ten days after conditioning his fear of the rat was much less marked. This dying out of a learned response is called extinction.

However, even after a full month it was still evident, and the association could be renewed by repeating the original procedure a few times. Classical Conditioning in the Classroom The implications of classical conditioning in the classroom are less important than those of operant conditioningbut there is a still need for teachers to try to make sure that students associate positive emotional experiences with learning.

Phobias Can Sometimes Be Formed by Classical Conditioning

If a student associates negative emotional experiences with school, then this can obviously have bad results, such as creating a school phobia.

For example, if a student is bullied at school they may learn to associate the school with fear. It could also explain why some students show a particular dislike of certain subjects that continue throughout their academic career.

This could happen if a student is humiliated or punished in class by a teacher. Critical Evaluation Classical conditioning emphasizes the importance of learning from the environment, and supports nurture over nature.

However, it is limiting to describe behavior solely in terms of either nature or nurtureand attempts to do this underestimate the complexity of human behavior. It is more likely that behavior is due to an interaction between nature biology and nurture environment.

A strength of classical conditioning theory is that it is scientific.

relationship between phobias and classical conditioning

This is because it's based on empirical evidence carried out by controlled experiments. For example, Pavlov showed how classical conditioning could be used to make a dog salivate to the sound of a bell. Other ethical issues with the experiment were that any form of desensitization treatment to counteract the effects of the experiment were never administered to Albert since the trial ended before that could happen.

It can be deduced that the mother agreed to allow her son to take part in the experiment out of fear of the repercussions should she decline the offer. Retrieved October 09, American Psychology Association; Retrieved October 09, The Chronicle of Higher Education. Kristina Cafney Paradise October 9, at 2: It is one of those topics that you can just do so much with especially in terms of learning and in programming young minds.

The idea of a phobia being linked to conditioning is something I have thought a lot about in the past. I am terrified of heights. I was not always, I became terrified of heights because I fell out of a tree. My daughter who is five now is terrified of bees, because she was stung. However, she is now terrified of her swing set because she can hear a bee inside of it.

The sound of the bee buzzing triggers her to her fear of bees and therefore she is now terrified of the swings. Your fear of clowns is a common one, the same thing happened to my cousin when she was about four. She watched the movie IT and is now terrified of clowns.

Classical Conditioning - Conditioning of Phobias - Uni assignment 2011

However, I feel you can also condition in the opposite way. If you have a phobia based off classical conditioning, do the opposite. De-conditioning is not something you have to go to a therapist for, although some do, most can do it on their own. My daughter is afraid of bees to the point she would run in the house or not go outside if there was a bee.

relationship between phobias and classical conditioning

However, I have been showing her honey bees, I got her a book on honey bees and explained all the wonderful things they do. She also knows they will not sting. She will go outside now and if she sees a bee, she may jump or become a little startled but she does not freak out like she used to. She is on her way to being de-conditioned.

So although phobias may be conditioned in your mind, you can also de-condition those phobias from your mind. Because of this pairing, the "neutral" stimulus, which was previously considered non-threatening, subsequently becomes capable of automatically causing a fearful response. This is because the person has "learned" it was a cue to a threat. The person has learned to be anxious via classical conditioning. Once this learning has occurred, the previously neutral stimulus the grocery store becomes a conditioned stimulus that spontaneously evokes a fear response.

The grocery store now prompts a cued panic attack due to the learning that took place. In other words, the grocery store now serves as a cue for danger.

In the example above, the grocery store became a conditioned stimulus that subsequently prompted a cued panic attack. However, cued panic attacks may also begin to form when people equate the physical symptoms of anxietywith danger. It is important to remember the symptoms themselves are not actually dangerous.

relationship between phobias and classical conditioning

Recall that a person sees initial uncued panic attacks as "coming out of the blue" without any observable trigger. Because the person experienced a significant amount of distress and discomfort when the attack first occurred, the symptoms themselves now represent a threat.

Classical Conditioning and Phobias | Psych Cognitive Psychology FA14

The symptoms become a cue capable of triggering anxiety whenever the symptoms begin. In other words, the individual has now "learned" to fear the symptoms themselves, as well as any situation that might trigger the symptoms. This creates a vicious cycle: Anxiety triggers a panic attack. The symptoms signal more danger.