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What is conditioned fear?

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Conditioned fear is the process that occurs when a previously neutral stimulus (i.e. the ring of a bell) is paired with a stimulus that produces fear and anxiety (i.e. a growling dog). When the pairing of the neutral stimulus and anxiety-provoking stimulus are done repeatedly, then this strengthens the association between the neutral stimulus and fear. Eventually, the neutral stimulus alone can induce fear, thus becoming a conditioned fear.
answered Dec 12, 2015 by drcarlo (294,430 points)