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Phobias and Addictions, Essay Example

Pages: 4

Words: 1222

Essay

Introduction

Phobia and addiction are two inseparable subjects of which one always leads to the other. To start with, the term “phobia” can be categorically be defined as an extremely strong fear of the situation or something by somebody, plant or an animal. It rarely goes away from somebody’s life. Phobia occurs in a person’s life when fear developed from a horrifying situation is passed on to related circumstance at the time the fear that was originally there is forgotten or repressed at that particular moment (David, 1991). The subject ‘‘phobia’’ is wide and it can be classified into three categorical groups which are:

Social phobia- these are fears involving people or social situations for instance performance anxiety or fears of embarrassment incase you are scrutinized by others, such as eating in public places. Social phobia is further subdivided into generalized social phobia and, specific social phobia, where anxiety is triggered only during specific situations.

Specific phobias – is the fear of a single specific panic trigger such as insects, certain domestic and wild animals, catching a specific illness, etc. Agoraphobia – this is also a generalized fear of leaving at home or in some small familiar area that is deemed safe, and of possible panic attacks that might follow, may also be out of a number of particular phobias i.e. fear of open spaces and public places (Robin, 2004). Medically, people with phobia are characterized using the following; feeling of panic, horror, terror or dread, when they realize that fear goes beyond normal situation and actual threat of danger, reacting in a manner that is automatic and uncontrollable which is practically taking over somebody’s’ thoughts and the rapid heartbeat, trembling, shortness of and certainly an overwhelming desire to be out of the situation (Robin, 2004)

Traumatizing events in most cases are said to be the major things that trigger the development of this character of specific phobia in persons which is medically proved to be more in women than men. Social phobia does develop in a person’s life when he or she often faces embarrassments or even humiliating situations from the peers in social places and poor social skills greatly contribute towards the development of social phobia in a person. Cultural influences also lead to the development of certain phobia in people’s lives for example, the tajjin kyufusho in Japan in which a patient gets afraid of being loathed or humiliated by other persons. Tajjin kyufusho is a kind of phobia that is culturally influenced and is associated with the fear of doing wrong to other individuals by showing to much respect or the aspect of modesty (Robin, 2004). The patient is in most cases afraid that his or sick situation will embarrass other people who have close ties with her or him due to the physical defect from the sickness. Social phobias sometimes begin at the age of between 15 to 20 years and most of the childhood phobias sometimes end up when a child grows or before adulthood and those phobias that do persist can only be resolved medically. Phobia is also developed when one associates danger to things and situations we can’t control or avoid i.e. attack of dangerous animals. Consequently these victims avoid this places or situations where they might become embarrassed publicly. Phobia development is thus believed to be associated with the genetic combination of generic pre deposition mixed with environmental factors.
In deed Phobia can be developed through classical conditioning, Classical conditioning phobia refers to a reaction of both the conscious and unconscious thoughts and desires in conflict with one another within the minds of a person. One may first become afraid of certain things after seeing and hearing a large violent reaction from them, either voice, sound, hit fall e.t.c. which absolutely irritated him or her and his or her fear conscience can never allow their interaction in any way socially. These characterized acts are conditioned stimuli. It can also be referred to as a reaction that is learned through the pairing of certain or particular stimuli.

On the other hand, Addiction is term can be defined as certain behaviors that are persistent and are marked by patterns of physical or psychological dependency that causes certain disruption and negatively affects the life of a person or any other living thing. In most occasions, they are linked to abuse of particular substances for example narcotics, stimulants and even sedatives (David, 1991). It can be characterized using two terms; substance dependency where one is used for instance cigarette smoking and its just to get him off the hook of smoking and physical dependency.
Addiction and operant conditioning goes hand in hand, Operant conditioning is a situation where by certain consequences are used to modify the behavioral occurrence and form. Addictions can be developed through operant conditioning factors like; Positive reinforcement of which it happens when a behavior response accompanied by a stimulus that raises the frequency of that behavior in a particular individual and Negative reinforcement of which sometime is referred to as negative escape occurs in an organism situation whereby behavior response is accompanied by a reactive stimulus that is mainly observed to be unpleasant in nature hence allowing the behavior frequency to increase (David, 1991). Positive punishment is also known as Punishment by contingent stimulation it happens in the case a behavior response comes after a a reactive stimulus, for example when a heavy shock or ambiguous noise is produced that leads to a drastic decrease in the degree of that behavior. On the other hand, Negative punishment of which sometimes is referred to as ‘’ the punishment by contingent withdrawal’’ develops in cases whereby a behavior repose in an individual results in removal of stimulus    I.e. taking away something a child is used to will definitely alter his behavior. Smilingly, ”Avoidance learning’’ is a characteristic behavior in leaning of which individuals develop the concept of cessations in an inverse stimulus as observed.

Classical conditioning and Operant conditioning differ from each other in such a way that the classical conditioning deals with the modification of voluntarily behaviors. The operant behavior deals with the environment and it is maintained by its consequences, it forms an association between behavior and consequence also referred to as response-stimulus conditioning (Richard, 1987). On the other hand, the classical conditioning functions with the conditioning of respondent behaviors which make someone react extremely by antecedent conditions. It usually forms an association between two stimuli.

Generally, Extinction is a term that has widely used in science and other related subjects, it refers to a situation whereby the last existing member of a species or family dies and there are no more surviving individuals who are able to reproduce and give continuation to that particular species or generation in that given environment. In psychology, the term extinction is specifically used to refer to the lowering of the, or the reduction of chances of a response when a character is reinforcing stimulus is not present at all (Michael, 2003). For instance, it is therefore used in operant conditioning to reduce an operant response when it is no longer reinforced in any organism for its functionality. In the operant case, the reinforcement trend will be withdrawn or withheld with an intention to reduce future chances of the character occurrences within that particular environment.

Whereas in classical conditioning extinction, the idea is to decrease the conditioned response when a conditioned stimulus repeats occurring without the presence of the unconditioned stimulus it had initially been paired up with. Extinction can be been achieved in classical conditioning through modification of species behaviors in a manner that suite extinction, this might be in eating habits or modification of practices which result in characteristic reaction to antecedent conditions while on the hand, extinction can be achieved through operant conditioning basing on various factors in the environment that lead affect the response-stimulus condition within the environment (Michael, 2003).

References

David M. Extinction: Bad Genes or Bad Luck? W.W. Norton and Company. New York. 1991.

Morran, Robin, C. (2004). A Natural History of Ferns, publisher Timber Press

Domjan, Michael, (2003): The Principles of Learning and Behavior, Fifth Edition, Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth

Leakey, Richard (1987): The Sixth Extinction: Patterns of Life and the Future of  Humankind, publisher Heinemann

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