Personality Psychology : It’s Evidence that “ Phobia ” Could Happen Because of Experience

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Personality Psychology : It’s Evidence that “ Phobia ” Could Happen Because of ExperiencePersonality Psychology : It’s Evidence that “ Phobia ” Could Happen Because of Experience. Personality Psychologhy is one part of psychologhy that quite interesting, because it learns about personality, how the personality of person is made, and what matters that affect someones’ behavior. Behavior is also part of person’s personality, the same with attitude. One of them is fear or also we known as phobia.

Phobia itself is a disorder or psychological problems where someone has excessive fear and  unreasonable fear of something. Lots of figures who argue about the cause of the emergence of phobias. One of the causes is because of experience. Personality psychology through the eyeglasses of behaviorism said that a person’s behavior can arise because of “shaping” or forming. This shapping can be an unpleasant experience, either intentional or unintentional.

A psychologist named Skinner said that behavior and also personality certainly are not affected by subconscious, instinct or certain motives. Certain behavior can arise because of three things, that are :

  1. Natural Selection
  2. Learning Process
  3. Experience


The research about personality psychology and human behavior conducted by Watson and Reyner reveals that one’s fear can arise because of a reinforcement and experience. Albert (9 months) is the experimental subject of Watson and Reyner. At first albert was a toddler, has no fear with rats, rabbitsand other objects.

The  story changed when Albert was confronted with a white mouse. By the time Albert saw a white mouse, Watson and Reyner deliberately hit two large iron behind Albert, then causing a very loud and disturbing sound. Albert responded to the sound by crying. Next, reconditioning again when Albert saw white mouse, the loud voice was also reappeared again.

At  the end after several times of reconditioning, Albert has a fear to white mouse, even when there is no longer a loud and disturbing sound appeared. It shows that a person’s fear can arise from experience. Albert had an experience when he saw a white mouse, he immediately heard loud and horrific sound at once. When it was reapeated continously, then Albert will associated a white mouse with that creepy loud voice. Eventually Albert wil immediately feel afraid when he saw a white mouse, although no crepy sounds again.

Not only Albert, some of the things we often fear may come from our experience. At least, the personality psychology with the point of view of behaviorism has the same oppinion about it. So, if you have phobia or fear, you can try to trace, what event and experience that makes you fear.

Written by : Eduardus Pambudi