Phobias and Addictions Related to Classical and Operant Conditioning

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Phobias and Addictions as Related to Classical and Operant Conditioning Introduction People can become conditioned to respond to various stimuli in positive and negative ways, including phobias and addictions. In order to better understand how stimuli elicit phobic or addictive responses, this paper provides a discussion concerning phobias and addictions as related to classical and operant conditioning, including explorations of how phobias can be developed through classical conditioning and how addictions can be developed through operant conditioning. A comparison of classical and operant conditioning is followed by an explanation concerning what extinction means and how it is achieved in both classical and operant conditioning. Finally, a summary of the research and important findings are presented in the conclusion. Review and Discussion How phobias can be developed through classical conditioning In a classical, or Pavlovian, conditioning experiment, an unconditioned stimulus, such as a loud, jarring noise, refers to a stimulus that is capable of evoking an unconditioned response from a subject, such as fear. Over time, phobias can develop through classical conditioning when another, neutral stimulus, such as a light, is paired with the unconditioned stimulus repeatedly, the light (now termed the "conditioned stimulus") can also evoke similar responses to the unconditioned stimulus did for the loud noise. The phobic response to the conditioned stimulus is called
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