Recalling back, there was a time in which behaviorism as a term needed no explanation as to its title. Psychologist knew the logic that was new with the brand of psychology that was introduced by Watson, which completely broke the proposed tradition, and rejected that psychology had nothing to do with our consciousness or an introspective method. In today’s time the term behaviorism has created a general view point that has been widely accepted by various psychologists, in which, doesn’t have any particular group or theoretical opinion. “In fact, there are no proponents today of the original Watsonian version. this statement holds true only for the particular pattern of assumptions that Watson advanced. Many of the basic postulates of his formulation are to be found in the present-day varieties of behaviorism and, what is more important, probably, in the underlying working assumptions of the great majority of present-day American psychologists” (Spence, 1948). There have been some psychologist and teachings that have come to the conclusion that behavioral therapy development is coming to a demise. However, “behaviorism has changed drastically over the past half century. Long ago, behaviorists could be more or less correctly described as people who studied individual behaviors and sought proximal causes they sought the current contingencies that maintain specific behaviors” (Malone, 2003). “It is molar both in the sense that behaviorists consider current context how does this behavior re- late to other simultaneously-available behaviors? It is also molar in the sense that time is important how do contingencies acting over time influence behaviors that are temporally extended?” (Malone, 2003).
Pavlov and Skinner
“In classical conditioning, associative learning involves repeatedly pairing an unconditioned stimulus, which always triggers a reflexive response, with a neutral stimulus, which normally triggers no response” (Bichler, et al., 2013). “Pavlov’s theory of conditioning opens the gateway to associative memory as it’s now a key concept in the learning and adaptability process of the brain” (Bichler, et al., 2013). The experiment that Pavlov conducted to test his theory of conditioning in which he is known for, is his experiments on dogs as test subjects to set a stage for observation in classical conditioning. How conducted the experiment by “placing before the nose of the dog a glass of carbon bisulphide… from its two salivary glands flows saliva… we stimulate the dog a few times with the same glass of carbon bisulphide. The saliva flows each time. Now we substitute surreptitiously an identical glass containing water. The dog salivates again, although with a smaller quantity of saliva” (Clark, 2004). Skinner however, had a different theory that was similar to Pavlov’s but was focused more on a different type of learning call operant conditioning. “Operant conditioning was chosen by B.F. Skinner to describe a similar type of learning because the subject must perform a behavioral operation to obtain reinforcement” (Clark, 2004). “A schematic that Skinner used to illustrate the important differences between what he termed “Type I” conditioning and “Type II” conditioning. The essential features of the conditioning experiment are the following: (1) an unconditioned stimulus which, in the experimental situation, evokes a regular and measurable unconditioned response, (2) a conditioned stimulus which originally does not evoke the unconditioned response, (3) repeated presentation of the conditioned and unconditioned stimuli in a controlled and specified manner. Any new or altered response to the conditioned stimulus whose occurrence depends upon the repeated double stimulation is called a conditioned response” (Clark, 2004).
Having a phobia is one of the most shared anxiety disorders amongst people. It’s estimated that it’s prevalent within 13.8% of anxieties disorders (Andersson, et al., 2013). “Among the specific phobias, animal phobias are highly prevalent with a point prevalence of 7.9% and snakes are commonly feared among the animal phobics. The therapy found to be most effective and time efficient for specific phobias is the one-session exposure treatment (OST) with clinically significant improvement rates often reaching up to 80%” (Andersson et al., 2013). Another effective way of treatment that has been utilized has been thought stopping. “Very briefly, the subject is first taught to identify and then to stop those sequences of thoughts leading to anxiety. The thought-stopping procedure, which is divided into four stages, begins with, the subject verbalizing aloud the beginning of a sequence of unwanted thoughts, whereupon the therapist emits a loud and abrupt “Stop!” The last of the four stages requires that the subject verbalize the undesired thoughts to himself and also that the subject emit the “Stop” at a covert level. Once the subject has learned to stop such thoughts, he is then taught the method of covert assertion, which involves teaching him to emit an assertive like statement, covertly” (Rimm, Saunders, & Westel, 1975). Although there are treatment options available to help with reducing ophidiophobia, there are spiritual guidance’s that can assist with reducing the fear and anxiety that is associated with the disorder. In Philippians 4:6-7 it states, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer, and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”.