Explaining phobias using the behaviourist approach

  • Created by: Georgia
  • Created on: 06-05-19 15:32
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  • Explaining phobias using the behaviourist approach
    • An extreme or irrational fear that causes persistent disruption to everyday life
    • Symptoms; persistent fear, extreme distress and anxiety, rapid anxiety response to stimulus
    • Behavioural responses; severe anxiety response; avoid contact; crying, screaming, running
    • Emotional responses; persistent and excessive fear; extreme anxiety; immediate fear
    • Cognitive responses; singular vision; irrational beliefs; cognitive distortions
    • Classical conditioning; association of phobia and anxiety response
    • Operant conditioning; avoidance of stimulus acts as negative reinforcement
      • Mowrer's two-process model; acquired through CC, maintained through OC
        • Classical conditioning; association of phobia and anxiety response
    • Evaluation
      • Di Nardo et al (1988)      60% of those with a fear of dogs had a frightening incident
        • Doesn't explain other 40%
      • Explains how phobias are maintained
      • Effectiveness of treatments supports behaviourist explanation
      • Too reductionist as ignores cognition completely
        • Even when irrational beliefs are a cognitive response
      • Doesn't explain how people have a phobia when there is no previous incident

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