The Behavioural Approach to Abnormality

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  • Created by: Rachael
  • Created on: 12-12-12 21:13
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    • All behaviour is learnt via classical or operant conditioning
      • Classical Conditioning
        • We form  an association between something in the environment (stimulus) and a physical or emotional state (response). E.g. In the case pf phobias, we learn to become afraid by associating the phobic object with fear
      • Operant Conditioning
        • We learnt through reinforcement.Eg, if dieting gains compliments from people (the reinforcement), we may continue to do so and eventually develop an eating disorder
      • Systematic  disensitisatiion
        • Step 1) Functional Analysis Patient draws up hierachy of fears and decides - with therapist - on their treatment goals
        • Step 2) Relaxation Therapist teaches client relaxation techniques
        • Step 3) Graduated Exposure         Over 6-12 session client is gradually exposed to phobic object and works through hierachy
      • DO THEY WORK?
        • 80-90%  Success for phobic disorders
        • It's a robust therapy. e.g you don't have to come into contact with spiders in real life for it to woirk
        • Paul(1960)- found that systematic dessensitisation was the most effective therapy in reducing public speaking
        • It  is only useful for problems involving anxiety


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