Psychological Explanations of phobias

  • Created by: Charlie
  • Created on: 05-06-13 15:16
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  • Psychological Explanations of phobias
    • Psycho-dynamic - Freud was the first to purpose a psychological explanation for the development of phobias. He purposed that a phobia is a conscious expression of repressed conflicts from the Oedipus complex, which are expressed through are dreams.
      • Little Hans - had a fear of horses in which Freud explain as castration anxiety from his farther which was displaced on to a horse (blinkers,bridles = mustache and glasses)
      • Support from Bowlby -suggested phobias can be caused by separation anxiety, he found that agoraphobic had suffered early family conflict and had been separated from their mothers and had repressed the anxiety and it resurfaced in later life as agoraphobia.
      • Whiting - studeid occurrence of phobias in different cultures. He found that phobias were more common in societies that has a structed form a child rearing. reasoning that stricter parenting leads to children repressing desires.
    • Behavioral explanations
      • Classical conditioning - a more reasonable explainion for hans fear is that it could have been the result of classical conditioning. As hans was involved in a incident with a horse that frighted  him and he then developed a fear from this.
        • Watson and Rayner - little Albert - showed him a white rat toy and produced no fear - showed him toy again but hit an iron bar as well - this process was repeated several times. - Albert showed the same fear response of noise to a white fluffy object on its own.
      • Operant conditioning -some psychologists suggest that this is the second stage of conditioning that causes the phobia to develop. Whereby avoiding the feared object relives anxiety and is reinforced with reward.
        • Psycologists have found that people can often recall specific incident when a phobia occurred.
      • Social learning - phobias may be acquired through modeling behavior of others. for example seeing a parent act with great fear to a spider may lead to the child producing a similar  response.
    • Sue - concluded that differant phobias are aquired thorugh differant processes. Acording to research agoraphobic were more likley to recall a specfic incident and arachnophobics were more likey to cite model as the cause.




really helpful to see it laid out like this, great for visual learners. 

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