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Ost, L.-G. and Hugdahl, K. (1985) Acquisition of blood and dental phobias and anxiety in clinical patients. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 23, 27-34.

Studied 73 patients with phobias for the sight of blood or dental experiences.

61% of patients attributed their phobia to specific conditioning experiences.

18% cited vicarious experience.

7% gave other information

15% gave no attribution.

In previous studies these authors had found that reports of conditioning experiences occurred in:

48% of animal phobics

58% of social phobics

69% of claustrophobics

81% of agoraphobics

There is general support for the suggestion that dental fears are frequently associated with unpleasant dental experiences (e.g. de Jong et al., 2003). Even Poulton and Menzies (2002) agree that dental fears often relate to dental experiences, though the opposite is true in the case of fear of heights and serious falls.