Journal Entry # 2 Essay

1006 words - 5 pages

I tend to avoid things I do not like or enjoy. I know that is not a novel or new tendency for people but after reading about Avoidance Learning I have a new understanding of why people do things that they do. The things I avoid, like having lab work drawn because I HATE needles, are things that others do not even give a second thought. The most ironic thing is I do not have a fear or global avoidance of needles, I have no problem what so ever sticking them into other people, I simply just get very anxious and uncomfortable, not to mention pass out, when they are aimed at me. Why is that? Why, does one person avoid something that another person does not even think about? The answer, OK part of the answer, is Avoidance Learning.
The text defines avoidance learning as the process of learning to stay away from aversive stimulus. (Ormrod, 2012 pg. 71) Well no kidding, people tend to avoid things that cause them pain, anxiety, or frustration. I learned when I was very young to not stick a key into an electrical outlet. That memory is still very vivid and I can almost feel the shock and see the spark when I think about it. However, avoidance learning is more than just avoiding pain or anxiety; avoidance learning requires a couple of parts. First, in order to “learn” avoidance you need to have bad experience, ie aversive stimuli. (Ormrod, 2012) Then a connection needs to be made, whether it be conscious or not, real or not, logical or not, some connection between what happened to you and the cause or at least the warning signs that the “bad” thing is going to happen again. (Ormrod, 2012) This warning sign or feeling that if you do whatever action something bad will happen to you is labeled as a pre-aversive stimulus. (Ormrod, 2012) For me, going to the doctor’s office is not a stressful thing, it only becomes an issues when they mention that I need or should get certain lab work done, lab work equals needle and needle equals anxiety, diaphoresis, pain, and passing out for me. Therefore, I avoid it, when I can. While I do not completely avoid it, I do get the lab work done that is needed however, you will not see me at a blood drive or one of those health fairs where you volunteer to have your arm jabbed by some student to get a test that you may or may not need. I know that is a little over the top, I am not saying that everyone should avoid these things, just that I am going to not be there, well at least not on the needle receiving side.
Avoidance learning can involve active avoidance learning or passive avoidance learning. (Ormrod, 2012 pg. 71 – 72 ) Active avoidance learning is when the learner must actively make a particular response to avoid an aversion event. (Ormrod, 2012) While passive...

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