Psychology- Phobias

  • Created by: Daisymac
  • Created on: 17-05-19 09:48
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  • Phobias
    • What?
      • Phobias are anxiety disorders characterized by extreme anxiety and fear triggered by an object,place or situation
      • 10% suffer at some point
      • Dsm-5 or ICD-10
      • Specific phobias- Phobia of an object
      • Social phobias- Phobia of social situations eg public talking
      • Agoraphobia- Fear of being outside/in a public place
    • Behavioral explanations
      • All behaviour learnt, what is learnt can be learnt, abnormal behaviour is learnt in the same way as normal behaviour
      • CC- Explain the acquisition of phobias
        • 2 process model
          • OC- Explains the maintenance of phobias
            • When avoidant behaviours are used we no longer feel anxiety
            • This negatively reinforces avoidant behaviours as it has removed negative experience
            • Increases likelihood of repeating the same avoidant behaviours
            • Di Gallo found that 20% of people who had experienced traumatic car accidents developed a phobia of travelling in cars and these individual stayed at home .
        • Learning through association
        • Associate something we don'[t have a fear of (NS) with something  that triggers a fear response (UCS)
        • Bounton 2007 points out evolutionary factors have an important role in phobias
          • Seligman 1971 called this biological preparedness- Innate disposition to acquire certain fears
            • Shows there is more to acquiring phobias than simple conditioning
      • OC- Explains the maintenance of phobias
        • When avoidant behaviours are used we no longer feel anxiety
        • This negatively reinforces avoidant behaviours as it has removed negative experience
        • Increases likelihood of repeating the same avoidant behaviours
        • Di Gallo found that 20% of people who had experienced traumatic car accidents developed a phobia of travelling in cars and these individual stayed at home .
    • Treating phobias
      • SD
        • Developed by Wolpe 1958
        • Involves patients learning in stages to replace fear responses with feelings of calm
        • form of counter conditioning
        • gradually introduced to feared stimulus by working through the clients hierachy
        • 1. create hierarchy of increasing fearful situations
          • 2. Taught deep muscle relaxation techniques
            • 3. Exposed to lowest level
              • 4. Once comfortable, they move onto next stage
                • 5. Length depends on the individual client.
        • Ethical issues- for therapy to be] effective, the participant cannot withdraw as it might end in psychological harm
        • compare to other therapies it generally works faster and requires little effort on the patients part
        • Could just eliminate or suppress symptoms and could result in substitute symptoms appearing
        • Gildroy followed up 42 patients with fear of spiders and found that after 3 months and then 33 months the SD Group was less fearful
      • Flooding
        • A phobic patient is exposed to an extreme form of a phobic stimulus in order to reduce anxiety triggered
        • Small number of long sessions
        • Immediate exposure to very frightening situation
        • Flooding stops avoidance behaviour
        • Not suitable for patients not in good physical health
        • Ethical issues- for therapy to be effective, the participant cannot withdraw as it might end in psychological harm
        • Supported by Wolpe, who used flooding to remove a girls phobia of being in cars and her phobia was eradicated
    • Characteristics of phobias
      • Cognitive
        • Distorted perceptions
        • Irrational beliefs
        • Recognition of exaggerated anxiety
      • Behavioral
        • Endurance
        • Panic
        • Avoidance
      • Emotional
        • Unreasonable responses
        • Persistent, excessive fear

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