The process of conditioning no doubt plays an important role in emotional life and in everyday likes and dislikes. A psychologist has reported the case of a girl who was intensely afraid of spiders. Even the most harmless little red mite would provoke a scream and symptoms of uncontrollable fear. It was found that when she was small she had been bitten by a large spider. The bite itself was not serious, and she might have taken it in a matter-of-fact way, except for her mother's excitement and distress. The girl's normal reflex from the pain of the bite became conditioned by her mother's excitement so that it resulted in extravagant terror at the mere sight of a spider. Often we seek to justify a conditioned response and give it a rational basis, although it originates in some accidental association of events.
The main purpose of this passage is ------ .
to teach us how to understand and overcome some of our fears
to explain to parents how to deal with childhood accidents
to show how our phobias and responses to things may be formed
to blame parents for the way that their children respond to things
to teach us how important it is to have a good and happy childhood
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