Monday, May 23, 2022

Avoidance Theory VS Obsession

In class, I found an interesting contrast between two concepts we have learned about. Avoidance Theory is the avoidance or escape from anxiety-provoking stimuli resulting in the removal of unpleasant emotions. The behavior of avoidance essentially becomes a reward. These behaviors may occur in many different ways and include actions that someone may or may not do. In Chapter 9, this concept was introduced and I found it very interesting as I was able to compare it to procrastination. 

Obsession was another concept in Chapter 9 that differed from the Avoidance Theory. Obsession would be someone obsessing over if they turned their flat iron off so they checked it five times in a row. Obsession is a factor in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I have slight OCD in a way that I never have handed a college assignment in late and I obsess over deadlines. It was cool to learn about these concepts and compare/contrast them from everyday life.,increases)%20the%20behavior%20of%20avoidance. 

Operant Conditioning


    Operant Conditioning is also known as Instrumental Conditioning. In this type of conditioning, I have learned that both humans and animals are able to learn through getting rewards and avoiding punishments. Most of us are familiar with the concept, but were previously unaware of its name. There are four quadrants of Operant Conditioning: Positive Punishment, Positive Reinforcement, Negative Reinforcement, and Negative Punishment. 

As I studied this theory, I was able to compare it to the way that I had trained my German Shepherd dog back at home. In order to teach him different commands, like raising his paw, I would reward him. Whenever he would raise his paw, he would be rewarded with treats in order to form an association to help him learn the command. This type of conditioning is effective and I can say that from first-hand knowledge. 


Phobias are more common than we think. Think to yourself, what is something that I fear and avoid? For some, this could simply mean a fear of spiders or a fear of flying in an airplane. Something I learned after further research, was that there are other phobias most people are unaware of. Examples of less common phobias include the fear of elevators, enclosed rooms, etc. Phobias can be anything because it is essentially the uncontrollable sense of an irrational and lasting fear. 

I think it is important to educate others about phobias in order to understand the fears of other people and the fears that they have. I have read that about 19 million Americans have one or more phobias. This really put into perspective for me just how common it is to have a phobia. As well as anything mental health related, phobias are nothing to be ashamed of.,the%20source%20of%20this%20fear.