Phobias and Addictions

Phobias and Addictions

Phobias and Addictions.

Phobias and Addictions: The experiences we have or events we encounter in life make us end up behaving in certain ways.  Some of the behaviors we end up with may be unhealthy.  Phobias and addictions are examples of the unhealthy behaviors and can have devastating effects in our lives.

These phobias and addictions can lead to alterations in the feelings of people making them have problems in their normal behavior (Kowalski & Westen, 2009). These two behaviors can be learned through both classical and operant conditioning.

Classical conditioning entails changing a person’s behavior so that he can react to a certain modified event that he did not previously have a reaction to (Dingfelder, 2005).

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Dissociating the spider with feelings of fear is therefore achievement.  With time the person stops fearing the spider since he believes the spider is no longer harmful.  As a result his fears reduce.

In order to achieve extinction of operant conditioning, a linkage between a certain behavior and the results it brings has to be broken. There is need to make sure that the behavior stops giving results of good feelings or bad feelings.

Extinction in alcohol addiction can occur when the alcohol can no longer provide the ‘great’ feeling that it used to.  Consuming it therefore does not provide the feeling it is supposed to.  There no longer exists the need to consume it.  As a result, its consumption reduces with time and may eventually stop.


Comer, R. J. (2005). Fundamentals of abnormal psychology (4th ed.). New York: Worth.

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