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FEAR and PHOBIAS

Yazar: Psikolog / Pazar, 17 Temmuz 2016 / Published in international

In Psychological sciences, and in the matter of understanding people’s feelings and thoughts, some research methods are used to understand people’s specific behaviours. Among those methods, we can define observation as observing people naturally that’s to say in their normal form instead of observing behaviours in a lab, in order to understand them simply in the way they are. In this way, the advantage of observing people in their behavioural form and with the environment they’re living in resides in the people nature and the fact that people are different from one another.

Even with the few insufficiencies of this method its utilisation is considered to be Although similar to the natural method, case studies are also used to observe people’s behaviours in addition to the techniques used by the researchers. In case studies, proofs of the general personal behaviour are somehow observed with Investigative studies on the other hand, are important to get rid of the insufficiencies in natural observation and case studies. With this method the effects and lacks that are generally noticed in someone’s behaviours can be understood.

Results given in percentage, help researchers in identifying the correct meaning of a person’s behaviours. Another important aspect of investigative works is the fact that pretty much data from relatively several people can be collected cheaply. Because they give raw data about behaviours and the diversity, case, nature and investigation studies aren’t sufficient to explain the causes of behaviours. Another technique known as Correlational researches, as it is based on the principles of correlation, evaluates the data that are related. For instance, there’s a higher risk for people with some psychological disorders to have other medical conditions. Depending on how much people resemble that person the chances for him/her to adopt them are also high. There are several relationships existing among similar phenomena.

Some other researches are carried out by way of evidence / trial-and- error. They help us to enlighten the previous experiments and simple tests made on that Behaviourism is one of the Psychodynamic Psychology schools. It is defined according to John B. Watson’s opinion about psychology. His behaviourism is based on the Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov’s experiments. A question arising from Pavlov’s experiments was if the conditioning could be applied to human beings or not. Watson proved that the conditioning was applicable to human beings too with an 11 months long research carried out on a baby.

Watson showed that fears could appear and could be got rid of by conditioning. Those works were a continuation to Pavlov’s experiments. One of Watson’s students Mary Cover Jones (1924), provided an “immunization” to a kid to his fear of rabbits by conditioning him. This is the method she used: While the rabbit was eating it was shown to the little kid and it was made to slowly approach him. This method resembles the technique used nowadays to make someone insensible to his/her

What else can be said about fear? Generally different things happen in our heads during the period it is thought our fears appear in childhood. The first fears appearing in our minds are fears from school, from darkness, the fear of being alone, the fear of being separated from our mothers and the fear of strangers. It is of course possible to make this list a bit longer, if you know what we mean.

First of all it should be specified that fear is a part of a normal development and helps a person to keep calm in front of dangers. Fear, from infancy to adulthood, is a frequently experienced situation; so much that researchers proved that 90% of children during a period or another of their development had feared something.

Phobias: First of all it’s essential for us to separate fear and phobias. In order to call a fear a phobia, it should suit the following criteria:

– The kid’s fear is exaggerated or excessively high in regards to the situation he faced, for example because he fell once from a swing in a park he isn’t able to ride
– The fact the kid can’t be convinced by logical explanations.
– The kid’s involuntary excessive fear or worrying.
– The deliberate avoidance of the feared situation.

Phobias aren’t either specific to an age or continue in the long term. In some phobias, the causing event can be identified but in some several other cases it is impossible to do so.

Fears: Some fears are regarded as normal at specific ages. For instance, the fear of noise and of the loss of physical support is quite natural during infancy. The fear of strangers observed from the age of eight month to 1-1.5 year old is also accepted as normal. The commonly fear developed at age 5 of several imaginative structures such as witches and monsters is also a predictable situation.

Here the thing we should pay attention to is the fact that some fears can appear at specific ages and should disappear after a certain period of time. For example, if a kid aged 6 is still fearing of strangers this is a situation which needs attention.

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