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Explain how the phobia might develop

Explain how the phobia might develop

Consider the following scenario: You join a group of friends for a meal at a local Chinese restaurant, where you all eat the same meal. Several hours after dinner, however, you develop severe stomach cramps and vomiting that lasts for three days. You are convinced that you have food poisoning even though none of your friends have symptoms. You visit your doctor, who tells you that you have the stomach flu. A week later you are feeling back to normal, except when someone brings up the restaurant. Even the mention of Chinese food or that specific restaurant triggers feelings of intense nausea and stomach pains. Six months later, you still refuse to eat Chinese food and feel sick when you smell or think about it. What has happened? Most likely, you have experienced classical conditioning. Let’s take a look:
Prior to this incident, you did not associate or pair Chinese food with illness. Before that conditioning occurred, thinking or talking about Chinese food (neutral stimulus) did not elicit a negative response.
Getting the stomach flu is an unconditioned stimulus. Your response—getting sick—represents an unconditioned response.
Because you got sick around the time you ate Chinese food, the Chinese food has become a conditioned stimulus. Therefore, when presented with this conditioned stimulus (Chinese food), you demonstrate a conditioned response (feeling sick). Although, in reality, the food actually had nothing to do with your illness, you have now learned to associate Chinese food with getting sick.
Now that you have some information about how classical conditioning can be applied to an everyday scenario, conduct an online search to find out about a specific phobia. Research shows that extreme fears and phobias often develop through classical conditioning, and the conditioning commonly occurs in childhood. It may be helpful to find an article or a Web site that illustrates how classical conditioning is applied to the specific phobia. Once you have found an article or a Web site, answer the following questions:
Question 1
Name and describe the phobia that you identified. Provide the URL of the article or the Web site in which you found the information.

Question 2
Using your textbook, the food poisoning example, and the information from your article or Web site, explain how the phobia might develop. Identify an example of each of the following for the phobia you selected:
a. Neutral stimulus
b. Unconditioned stimulus
c. Unconditioned response
d. Conditioned stimulus
e. Conditioned response
Question 3
Referring to your article, Web site, or textbook, explain how a conditioned response, such as a phobia, can be weakened or eliminated.
Question 4
According to Ivan Pavlov, classical conditioning is a process of learning
an association between two stimuli.
through trial and error.
through rewards and punishments.
schedules of reinforcement.
Question 5
Ivan Pavlov discovered that conditioned responses can gradually be weakened if the conditioned stimulus is repeatedly presented without being paired with the unconditioned stimulus. This process is called
operant learning.
stimulus discrimination.
spontaneous recovery.
Question 6
Which of the following is an example of a neutral stimulus?
Hearing a new song on the radio, which does not elicit strong feelings
Speeding on your way to school or to work
Getting nervous before you deliver a speech in front of a class of 100 students
Setting a specific ringtone on your phone for each member of your family
Question 7
Assume that 20-year-old Gabriel was treated for aquaphobia, an abnormal or persistent fear of water. At one point, Gabriel’s phobia was so severe that he refused to even sit in a bathtub, but after nearly six months of therapy, his fear had drastically subsided. That is, extinction had occurred. Not only would Gabriel take a bath as an alternative to showering, from time to time he would join his friends in a hot tub. A few days ago, Gabriel was in the hot tub when a friend jumped in, splashing water in Gabriel’s face. He panicked and immediately got out; he now refuses to even take a bath. In other words, the fear response has returned. According to your textbook, what phenomenon is Gabriel experiencing?

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Explain how the phobia might develop


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