Hakim has come to a therapist in order to help overcoming his Cynophobia, a fear of dogs. Explain and critically evaluate how learning theory can be used to explain Hakim's phobia and also, potentially, to treat it.
This essay will explain and critically evaluate how, Cynophobia, a fear of dogs can be overcome. The two main points that will be looked at is learning theory in an effort to try and explain how this phobia has developed in Hakim and possible ways of treating it.
Classical conditioning as defined by Comer,(2004) as “ a process of learning by temporal association in which two events that repeatedly occur close together in time become fused in a person’s mind and produce the same response.” The major influence in learning theory is Pavlov (1902) who while carrying out an experiment into the glandular secretions during digestion noted that the dogs began to salivate when the food was about to be delivered. This gave rise to research based on this involving conditioning the animals to salivate on command. The unconditioned stimulus (US) was the food and the natural response to this stimulus was the unconditioned response (UCR), salivating. Next a conditioned stimulus (CS) such as ringing of a bell was introduced. This process is called pairing. After several repetitions the dogs had become conditioned to the bell and would salivate not only in response to the food but also to the bell. This is then called the conditioned response (CR). However it has been criticised as being a one-dimensional approach to behaviour and that it doesn’t take into account free will and individual differences when applied to humans. Also humans and animals have the ability to adapt their behaviour when new information is introduced. They have made a conscious decision to respond in a way that if beneficial to them. Rachman, S. (1977a)
In order to sufficiently explain how learning theory has created a phobia in Hakim and possible ways to help him to overcome this it is necessary to go into the nature of phobias. The APA, Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, (1994). Characterise specific phobia which Cynophobia is classed under as “an irrational fear of a specific object or situation, which is avoided at all cost or endured with great distress. Four subtypes are recognized in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM-IV): animal (e.g., spiders), natural environmental (e.g., heights, water), situational (e.g., flying, closed spaces), blood-injection-injury (e.g., blood, dentist), and an “other” category for phobias that do not fit into the designated subtypes.”
Classical conditioning attempts to explain phobia acquisition in terms of a learned response. This links with the study conducted by Watson & Rayner (1920), “Little Albert”. In which they used the principles laid down by Pavlov to condition a child to be fearful of a white rat. This involved the striking of an iron bar which produced a noise (UCS) when in the presence of a rat (CS). After this was repeated many times the child cried out at the sight of the white rat even when the noise was not produced. However this study not only being highly unethical by today’s standards has been criticised that there is little evidence that Albert developed any sort of rat phobia. Harris, (1979)
All this suggests that classical conditioning was responsible for phobia acquisition, though it was later revised that a fear brought on in this manner also acts to reinforce it. (Mowrer, 1960), Eysenck & Rachman, (1965). They have learned to avoid the stimulus that causes them to be anxious therefore perpetuating the phobia and having little chance of loosing it through extinction. The study of “Little Albert” suggests a possible cause of Hakim’s phobia. Some incident involving a dog in early life may have triggered the phobia. However this in itself brings up a number of issues with this as a main cause. Rachman, (1977) found several difficulties...
Arachnophobia is the fear of spiders and is one of the most common specific types of phobias. A phobia is defined as a persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it. Phobias are mainly and tend to be caused by a traumatic event or experience that happened prior in a person’s life. No one knows exactly where arachnophobia comes from but there are many differenttheories on how it has developed based on evolution but with some of those theories come discrepancies.
One of the most common theories was put forth by evolutionary psychologists. The view suggests that arachnophobia was a survival technique for our ancestors. Since most spiders are venomous, even though most do not pose a threat to humans, a fear of spiders could have made humans more likely to survive and reproduce. Other psychologists argue that arachnophobia is likely based on cultural beliefs about the nature of spiders since phobias of larger more dangerous animals are not common. It was once believed that spiders were the cause of the bubonic plague. “In many areas of Europe, the spider appears to have been a suitable target for the displaced anxieties caused by these constant epidemics; in other cases, its proximity to the real causes of the epidemics may have fostered opportunistic associations between...
...Explain ways in which theories of how adults learn can be applied to work with groups of adults
Kolb’s learning cycle represents in a cycle diagram the process through which adults learn. The theory is that people learn through reflecting on their experience, deciding how they felt, analyzing what was going on and choosing what they will do next time.
These 4 phases of learning are known as; concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization and active experiment.
This is a useful theory as it is easily communicated through a simple diagram and after using the cycle a few times it is easy to remember. I have used it to help parent clearly think through issues in their parenting experience one step at a time. It has been helpful to get parents to reflect and move on to try a different approach rather than getting stuck, bewildered by their child’s behaviour. This is a good tool for parents because it helps them become reflective learners and this skill is vital for parenting. It also gets parents to consider their own and their child’s behaviours helping them to be more aware of themselves and more empathetic.
I have found thinking through this cycle useful in my own parenting, particularly in situations that provoked a strong emotional reaction in me or my child, or at times when my child is persisting in an...
...This essay discusses two of the theories surrounding children's learning and development. It further goes on to discuss how they could be used to inform practice in the classroom. The two theories to be discussed are Vygotsky’s Social Development Theory and Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences Theory.
Lev Vygotsky was a Russian psychologist who lived from 1896 to 1934. He was widely involved in developing the education program of the emerging Soviet Union. At the time of his death, his theory was not known outside of the Soviet Union because it was repressed. During his life, he created a completely new and scientific approach to psychology, which did not become publicised in the West until 1962. (Hausfather, 1996)
Vygotsky’s work later became the basis for what has become known as the social development theory of learning (Mace, 2005,para.1). Vygotsky’s ideas influenced a social constructivist approach to education. The major theme of Vygotsky's theoretical framework is that social interaction plays a fundamental role in the development of cognition. Every function in the child's cultural development appears twice: first, on the social level, and later, on the individual level, first, between people (interpsychological) and then inside the child (intrapsychological). This applies equally to voluntary attention, to logical memory,...
When we talk of learning we usually think of something related to the classroom, such as English or Maths. However, Psychologists refer to learning as a relatively permanent change in behaviour as a result of experience'. Learning is a fundamental process in all animals and the higher up the evolutionary scale the animal, the more important is the ability to learn. All animals need to adapt their behaviour in order to fit in with the environment and to adapt to changing circumstances in order to survive.
Much of our behaviour consists of learned responses to simple signals. Can all behaviour be analysed in the same way? Some psychologists believe that behaviour is the sum of many simple stimulus-response connections. However there are other psychologists who think that stimulus-response is too simplistic and that even simple responses to stimuli require the processing of a vast amount of information.
The Behaviourists are a group of psychologists who focus on these stimulus-response connections, the two most famous being Watson and Skinner. Behaviourism arose because there was dissatisfaction with approaches in psychology that involved 'unscientific, techniques such as introspection and dealt with unmeasurable aspects of behaviour such as the role of the unconscious mind. Behaviourists try to explain the causes of behaviour by studying only those behaviours that...
...As centuries changes, so too does the learning styles of students’ changes. Hence different learningtheories such as behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism have been used to improve learning, performance and class involvement of student. Each of theories has distinctive features based on their individual perspectives of the learning process. In this essay, I will mainly discuss 3 things: 1) the main tenet of behaviorism and constructivism, 2) a comparison between cognitive and constructivism and 3) the implications that constructivism has for the classroom teacher with the central task of teaching.
Behaviorism is an approach which denies (with greater / lesser insistency) that consciousness has any relevance to the understanding of human behavior. Behavior is seen in terms of an identifiable and measurable response to external or internal, recognizable, and measurable stimuli. The response can be modified by rewards or various forms of discouragement- a process known as conditioning. The main theorist for behaviorism involves Ivan Pavlov, John Watson and B F skinner. Firstly, a main tenet of behaviorism is that the teacher is in control of the class hence it is more of a teacher centric learning. Based on the views of behaviorism, the teacher is the power house, which creates a teacher centric learning....
...“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Everybody on the planet has more than one fear. Some are more severe than others; some are understandable while others are trivial. Fear is mostly mental. Fear is a menacing part of life. Fear is frightening. Fear is an exciting part of life. Without fear there would be less control in the world.Fear brings notable traits such as perseverance and determinism. Fear is an intimidating thing but it can bring good to a person’s life.
Personally, I have a fear of death. It could happen any day, any time and any way and there is no way you can control it. I never thought death could happen at a young age. I grew up in a sheltered household and I wasn’t really introduced to death as an adolescent. When a fish died I got a new one, when my dog Sammy died I had just gotten a puppy before that and I never grasped the fact that Sammy was dead. My parents always beat around the bush at subjects like death. I am fortunate enough to have all of my immediate family (Including great grandparents) still alive and kicking. Before the end of fifth grade I had no idea I could lose someone so fast. Before the end of fifth grade I had no idea that those horrible things on the news could affect me.
My fear of...
...Learning and development theories are conceptual frameworks that are looked at how information is absorbed, processed and retained during learning. Through using different learningtheories you are able to teach children in the classroom and develop and strengthen them as a person not only intellectually but socially as well. Theories provide information that can help teachers influence children’s learning by providing developmentally appropriate practice. In practice theories help to improve, enable, inform, provide for and explain, but too many theoriescan create a very confusing picture.
Neuroscientists believed that the genes we are born with determine the structure of our brains and that with the fixed structure determines the way we develop and interact with the world. However it has since been proven that it’s not the case at all and that we are only born with the framework and what we put inside this framework is completed over time and completely our own choosing.
Carol Dweck, who is widely known as one of the worlds leading researchers in the field of personality, social psychology and developmental psychology, believes that everyone has a growth or fixed mind-set. She believed that if you have a fixed mindset you would only achieve what you think you are good at. People with a fixed...
...importance in the field of psychology, Ivan Pavlov and Jean Piaget.
How do we learn? How do we grow? Each theory has its own differences and gives insight into the developing of human mind.
Ivan Pavlov was a Russian physiologist whose discovery of classical conditioning remains one of the most important in psychology and it formed the basis of behavioural psychology.
While researching the digestive function of dogs, he noted his subjects would salivate before the delivery of food. In a series of well-known experiments, he presented a variety of stimuli before the presentation of food and he found that after repeated associations, a dog would salivate to the presence of a stimulus other than food. He named this response a conditional reflex .The food was an unconditioned stimulus, saliva an unconditioned response and the bell, a conditioned response. During the experiment was observed that if the pairing of bell and food would stop, the response would become weaker and then disappear but able to recover if the dog is presented with both.
There are numerous real-world applications for classical conditioning such us: a pilot will make a life saving response to a given situation through practising the situation endlessly. A child’s visit to the dentist is another example. If the child experiences pain caused by doctor, the waiting room may act as a stimulus for the activation of...