Let us present psyche as the reflector system, directed toward the avoidance of the undesirable actions of environment, which switches on the mechanism of pain. It is known that the painful reaction is the strongest unconditional reaction, which is always accompanied by the experience of fear and horror. These experiences are renewed (at least, the negative painting of emotions), also, with the conditioned-reflex reproduction of painful reaction. Physical pain also is reproduced in the form of the muscular spasms and other manifestations.
For example, fear in small children can cause loud sound. B. Watson and R. Rayner (Watson, Rayner, 1920), combining the demonstration of white mice with the impact into the gong, caused in child the caused fear of mice. It was explained that the extinctions of this fear after the curtailment of unconditioned stimulus (loud sound) does not occur, in contrast to the classical conditioned reflex. Moreover, fear had a tendency toward the generalization, i.e., it applied to rabbit, white sheath, sheet of white paper and so forth it is later, studying nature of social it was insurance, psychologists arrived at the analogous results.
Let us examine how the conditional reaction of fear in the situations with the drops can be formed. In the real life nothing is repeated in the same situation several times. Yes even situation itself changes. From the generation the children do not fear height, but when they begin to walk - much fall. For example, one time child fell and tested the pain, when rapidly he broke into a run after the cat, in other case it fell from stul'chika, and on the street - from the children's swing. In each of these situations constantly was present only one prearranged signal - loss of support. To it is manufactured the conditioned reflex or the reaction of fear.
What adaptive value can have a fear of the loss of support, indeed child does not realize that he when - or did lose support and will not foresee this in the dangerous situations? In fact, in view of the transience, the very short duration of drop itself, is not realized, apparently, and very fear of the loss of support. Answer to this question should be searched for, most likely, in the dreams. Those associations, which appear with each drop: the loss of support and cat, loss of support and stul'chik, loss of support and swing - sooner or later derive on the theme of the loss of support in the dream, and it means - on the theme of drops. Hence the nightmares of drops. Sleep "strengthens" hardly the glowing sensation of danger to such scales, to this fear of drops, that further conditionality, i.e., displacement to the prearranged signal of height, and fear of height, are no longer caused any questions. Like the great adaptive value of the fear of height for averting the drops. Possibly, the "amplifying property of sleep" is the reason for the difficult extinction of social, etc. it is insurance, phobias. (See: Displacement, transfer, inversion, sublimation...)
Running in forward, let us note the rigid tying of the basic (in the childhood) subjects of dreams with the manifestations of gravity. The same fear of drops, falling objects, fear of close spaces, connected with the danger of caving shelters - all testify about this. Not excepting, of course, and others it is insurance. (see: Sleep and dreams. Psychophysiology, function.)
It is known that living in the water sea mammals do not have the rapid (REM) phase of sleep (Mukhametov L., 1985), during which are generated the warning dreams. Since the manifestations of gravity in the water are weakened (dangers, connected with it), then it is possible to assume that the dreams and rapid phase initially arose (together with other reasons) as the mechanism of warning the connected with the gravity dangerous situations, the probability of occurence of which grew with the advent of teplokrovnosti and, therefore, increased activity.
It occurs, that the very important signals are too weak or short-term, but there is the possibility to avoid danger. Then conditional reaction to the unconscious stimulus can be formed. For example, the orientation of blind people in the space is based on what the reflected from the obstacles inaudible sounds cause the conditional reaction of the reduction of muscles of face, received as chill, touch, shading (Beritashvili, 1969). Conditional connection appears as a result of several collisions. The appearing pain is always accompanied by the reduction of muscles of face and neck in order to remove from the obstacle.
The fear of height, which unavoidably appears with the collision with the reality, in some situations can prevent the satisfaction of vital needs. Therefore the fear of height, which arose and intensified in the dreams, in the dreams is weakened. For example, when the need for obtaining fruits on the high tree appears, then the reciprocal effect of the motivation of hunger and emotion of the fear of height switches on the mechanism of dream, which begins to generate sleeps on the theme of wonderful flights, gripping adventures in the mountains or fearless lazan'ya on the trees. Weakened (inverted) thus fear in the dreams, already more easily is inverted also in the real situation: with the presence of the prevailing motivation the fear of height and drops begins to be received as the state of euphoria, and fear removing.
Analogously is removed the fear of close spaces, connected with the possibility of caving shelters. When the need for being covered from the foul weather (motivation of the avoidance of unfavorable actions) increasingly more frequently appears, in the dreams can appear the subjects of the gripping adventures in the caves, labyrinths and so forth these inversions in the sleep weaken fear. In reality, in the appropriate situations, inversion is led to the automatism and it can occur already without the visible reason. So children love to construct huts and houses and to hide in them independent of weather conditions.
Fears preodolevayutsya by the mechanism of the inversion (see: Inversion of emotions - base shielding mechanism.), the sublimation or deviation (see: Instruction by the mechanism of inversion and sublimation, Theories of motivation.). For example, sublimation it is possible to name the desire of children to construct shelters and to hide in them without the visible reasons. Like the desire to rock on the swings, preodolevaya the fear of height.Based on materials of Vladimir Ivanov's article