Psychoanalyst focus on the content of the phobia and see the phobic object as a symbol of an important unconscious fear; content of phobia has important symbolic value. behaviourist ignore content of phobia and focus on function, for them the fears are equivalent in the means by which they are acquired and in how they might be reduced and so on. Specific phobias: unwarranted fears caused by the presence or anticipation of a specific object or situation. Social phobias are persistent, irrational fears linked generally to the presence of other people. Individual try to avoid particular situations in which they might be evaluated fearing that they will reveal signs of anxiousness or behave in an embarrassing way. Speaking or performing in public, eating in public, using public lavatories and other activities carried out in the presence of others can elicit extreme anxiety.