Behavioural approach explaining phobias

  • Created by: sadiemay
  • Created on: 22-05-18 18:45
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  • behaviour approach explaining phobias
    • The two process model ( Classical conditioning )
      • Mowrer argued that phobias are learned by classical conditioning and then maintained by operant conditioning
      • Classical conditioning involves association this is shown by the Little Alberts by Watson and Raynor where they conditioned him to be have a phobia of rats
      • Whenever Abert played with a white rat (NS). A loud noise was made close to his ear. The noise (UCS) caused a fear response (UCR)
        • The rat  (NS) did not create fear until the bang and the rat had assosicated together.
          • Albert showed a fear response (CR)  every time he came into contact with the rat now (CS)
      • Generalisation of fear to other stimuli, for example little albert showed a fear towards white furry objects such as a santa clause mask
    • Operant conditioning
      • Phobias are maintained through operant conditioning and negative reinforcement.
      • Negative reinforcement is when an individual produces behaviour to avoid something unpleasant
      • When a phobic avoids a phobic stimulus they escape that anxiety they would have experienced.
    • Alternative explanations for avoidance behaviour
      • In more complex behaviours like agoraphobia theres evidence that at least some avoidance behaviour is motivated by positive feelings of safety
        • explains why agoraphobics leave the house with a trusted friend
          • This is a problem for the two process model which suggests its due to reducing anxiety
    • Not all bad behaviours lead to phobias
      • most people who have a bad experience such as getting bite by a dog then don't go on to develop a phobia
        • Suggesting that conditioning alone cannot explain phobias there may be other factors
    • The two process model dosent properly consider cognitive aspects.
      • As the behaviour approach focuses on the behaviour aspects of phobia it ignore the cognitive aspects
        • as in phobias there cognitive elements such as irrational thoughts , the two process model fails to address this

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