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Even though observational learning has been proven to be effective in creating reactions of fear and phobias, it has also been shown that by physically experiencing an event, chances increase of fearful and phobic behaviors.In some cases, physically experiencing an event may increase the fear and phobia more so than observing a fearful reaction of another human or non-human primate.Most individuals understand that they are suffering from an irrational fear, but are powerless to override their panic reaction.These individuals often report dizziness, loss of bladder or bowel control, tachypnea, feelings of pain, and shortness of breath.The avoidance aspect is defined as behavior that results in the omission of an aversive event that would otherwise occur, with the goal of preventing anxiety.Beneath the lateral fissure in the cerebral cortex, the insula, or insular cortex, of the brain has been identified as part of the limbic system, along with cingulated gyrus, hippocampus, corpus callosum and other nearby cortices.The amygdala is an almond-shaped mass of nuclei that is located deep in the brain’s medial temporal lobe.It processes the events associated with fear and is linked to social phobia and other anxiety disorders.

When dealing with fear, the hippocampus receives impulses from the amygdala that allow it to connect the fear with a certain sense, such as a smell or sound.It may also be caused by various specific phobias such as fear of open spaces, social embarrassment (social agoraphobia), fear of contamination (fear of germs, possibly complicated by obsessive-compulsive disorder) or PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) related to a trauma that occurred out of doors. Social phobia, also known as social anxiety disorder, is when the situation is feared as the person is worried about others judging them. Some individuals can simply avoid the subject of their fear and suffer relatively mild anxiety over that fear.Others suffer full-fledged panic attacks with all the associated disabling symptoms.Rachman proposed three pathways to acquiring fear conditioning: classical conditioning, vicarious acquisition and informational/instructional acquisition.When an aversive stimulus and a neutral one are paired together, for instance when an electric shock is given in a specific room, the subject can start to fear not only the shock but the room as well.A conditioned fear response to an object or situation is not always a phobia.

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