Respondent and Instrumental Conditioning as Related to Phobias and Addictions

1004 WordsJul 14, 20125 Pages
Respondent and Instrumental Conditioning as related to Phobias and Addictions Many people who suffer from phobias also suffer from addictions. This is largely due in part to the reluctance to seek professional treatment for the phobia. People turn to other means to cope with their phobias which in turn leads to addictions. Dependence is such an issue with addiction that stopping is very difficult and causes severe physical and mental reactions. Therapist use a technique called extinction to treat patients with phobias and addictions. A Phobia is a persistent, abnormal or irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid the feared stimulus. Phobias are largely underreported. An estimated 6 million people…show more content…
In operant conditioning, it is the process by which the connection between an operant and a reinforcer or punishment is similarly broken. (Kowalski & Westen, 2011) To treat phobias using the extinction process from either method of conditioning, people who suffer from phobias are exposed to what causes the fear and shown that there is no reason for the irrational behavior. Using extinction to treat addiction requires the person suffering from the addiction to find other methods to get the high they obtain by satisfying their addiction. Respondent or Classical conditioning refers to learning in which an environmental stimulus produces a response in an organism. Operant conditioning is learning that transpires when an organism associates a response that occurs spontaneously with a particular environmental effect; also called instrumental conditioning. Classical conditioning is when both conditioned and unconditioned reflexes occur due to environmental stimuli. These responses are usually involuntary responses opposed to operant conditioning which are more often than not voluntary behaviors. Operant conditioning occurs when one learns how to control the environment through actions and reactions. Therefore, their actions and reactions are used to manipulate the world around them. The two are often

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