Acrophobia







Acrophobia
University of Phoenix
PSY/103
OPHELIA BINKLEY-WEBB
July 12, 2015
















The human anatomy is made up on many complex functions, but the most intriguing in various opinions is the mind. The mind has a part of the brain located in the amygdala. The amygdala is a structure located deep in the anterior inferior temporal lobe of the brain. The amygdala receives projections mostly from the sensory regions of the thalamus and the cortex, but also from several other structures such as the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex (thebarin.mcgill, 2006). This part of the brain and its associates are known to process fear and panic. There are a multitude of fears that in much opinion are very scary from one but may not be to another. The way many process those fears are completely different just as they are to have them. President Franklin Roosevelt was famous for many acts but even without a degree in psychology he was accurate when saying "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
There are five basic fears every human has embedded in them from birth, and they are extinction, mutilation, loss of Autonomy, separation, and Ego-Death. (Dr. Karl Albrecht, 1996) Even though they are all shared I believe there are many fears that contain all 5 in its tragedy and one of those are fear of heights. The fear of heights is known as Acrophobia. Acrophobia is a debilitating anxiety disorder that affects nearly 1 in every 20 adults (Fearof.net). The word is derived from the Greek word “Acron” meaning heights and “phobos” meaning fear. To put in context there are about three hundred and nineteen million people in the United States alone. That means that almost sixteen million people have this debilitating phobia which possess the natural five fears that a person can experience.
Classical conditioning can be done to help people achieve great lengths when it comes to a phobia. For example a study can be formed by having a person simulate being on a stair and gradually move there way on to the top of a sky scraper. With that a study can be formed to gather data to see how a person with the phobia will react to such a situation. With Unconditioned Stimulus a person can just be hauled up to the top to gather the immediate data. Even though this is a practice that I myself do not agree with, I understand that many forms have to be taken to help find the cause or root of an issue such as Acrophobia. The unconditioned response is behavior that occurs naturally due to a given stimulus. The situation that surrounds someone will get them to have or not have a reaction based on the circumstance around them. While conditioned responses would be the person reacting to the situation around with another individual involved. Conditioned response only when someone has come to associate that stimulus with another.
Acrophobia generally affects the recreational activities one can enjoy. However, in some extreme cases, the phobia can affect one’s day to day life. For example: driving on bridges may trigger panic attacks or dizziness or individuals living or working in large cities might find it difficult to attend meetings on higher floors of a building or may experience dizziness in escalators, glass elevators, railings, and on staircases etc. (Fearof.net). Operant conditioning (also known as instrumental conditioning) is a process by which humans and animals learn to behave in such a way as to obtain rewards and avoid punishments. It is also the name for the paradigm in experimental psychology by which such learning and action selection processes are studied. (B.F. Skinner, 1938) This can be used in a way to get someone to obey an order. Even though it is cruel in a sense it has been a tactic used throughout history. In a popular film known as 007 I believe people are fascinated by the fact that the character James Bond faces similar fears with no consequence. In particular the excitements of seeing someone jump a car over a mountain and make it I believe plays into the fear that many humans have. Seeing someone defy the odds the defy are natural instinct to be who we are plays on the mind of the