Phobias: Virtual Reality

Scientific American Frontiers, a PBS program hosted by Alan Alda, has been producing science-based documentaries since 1990. Two episodes deal with phobias—one is about the fear of heights and the other about the fear of spiders. The program delves into the common ways in which psychologists help individuals with phobias and how technology is being used to assist in the treatment of these phobias. The episodes also help understand how research can be applied to address specific mental health issues.

Watch the following episodes:

Described the basis for a phobia and how a person might develop a phobia. (10 points)

Analyzed what was similar between the person with the fear of heights (acrophobia) and the person with the fear of spiders (arachnophobia) and what was different in their levels of fear. (10 points)

Described the type of therapy or treatment that was traditionally used for the treatment of the two phobias. (10 points)

Discussed and analyzed how the virtual reality sessions helped in reducing their individual fears. (10 points)

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