Biological And Environmental Factors In Defining Fear: The Importance Of Fear

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Fear is a potent emotional response developed by the intrinsic need to learn in order for one to better their means of self-preservation. Though often overlooked, fear is a mental construct which presents great importance in understanding an individual’s thoughts and mannerisms. Children can help scientists to better recognize how these fears emerge. The early years of life can be considered the most daunting; everything in the environment surrounding a child is fairly new, strange, and unfamiliar. In the psychological community, it is widely accepted that fears are determined from two main constituents: biological and environmental factors. Both factors play an essential role in defining fear as well as the determination of what a child may…show more content…
The emotional support children receive from their parents in the early years of their lives can make an everlasting impact in how their fears develop and persist over the course of their lives. Take, for instance, a considerably difficult a child who received a nurturing amount of support from his parents in contrast with another little boy who was physically reprimanded for his antsy behavior. The first boy’s parent’s found tactful ways to allow their child to better handle his fears, consequently allowing him to forge a more functional life in the future. In opposition, the other child’s father, who hit him in efforts to stop his anxiety, ironically contributed to the child’s unwanted behavior, causing him to become more disruptive and disturbed in the…show more content…
In observational learning, a child takes note of what his or her mother or father considers to be threatening. On the other hand, children can also be conditioned by their own life experiences through a process called operant conditioning (SOURCE). In some instances, children tend to generalize their fears, subsequently forming a phobia. For example, a young girl who became increasingly cautious of flying insects after an unpleasant encounter with a nest of agitated yellow jackets. After being assaulted by these creatures, she associated all flying bugs with the painful sting of a yellow jacket. Of course, children can also be classically conditioned to display a fearful response; that is, they learn to associate an unconditioned fear-relevant stimulus with a conditioned stimulus, provoking a conditioned, fearful response. One of the most well-known examples of this is an experiment involving a young boy, famously dubbed Little Albert. Little Albert learned to fear small furry animals in a laboratory setting when the presence of these creatures was paired with loud banging noises (SOURCE). From the aforementioned experiments and studies, it is undeniable that external circumstances and experiences assist in the configuration of fear in

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