AQA PSYB2: Psychology (B) - Anxiety disorder(Phobias and OCD) Key words/ Revision sheets

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  • Created on: 31-05-13 10:29
Preview of AQA PSYB2: Psychology (B) - Anxiety disorder(Phobias and OCD) Key words/ Revision sheets

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Cognitive effects ­ anxiety is in thoughts and can vary from mild feelings of worry to severe panic
Behavioural effects ­ a person may learn to avoid certain situations in order to prevent feelings of
anxiety occurring in the first place.
Avoidance behaviour ­ the most common behavioural response to anxiety
Somatic effects ­ a person experiences changes in their body, such as shallow breathing, dry mouth,
heart palpitations, perspiration, muscle tension and indigestion
Insight ­ people who suffer from anxiety disorder are aware of the problem they have
Panic attacks ­ this is when there is a;
1. Rapid increase of intense anxiety ­ apprehension and fear
2. Feelings of intense fear, with a pounding heart, dryness of mouth and other
extreme somatic effects
3. Fear of losing control of everything and feelings of doom or dying
Phobia ­ A persistent and unreasonable fear if a particular object, activity or situation (Comer 2008)
Agoraphobia ­ fear of open spaces
Social phobias ­ fear of interacting and performing in front of people. There are three types of social
phobias (Sue et al 2003);
Performance ­ anxiety about performing in public e.g. public speaking, playing a musical instrument to an
audience, eating with others in a restaurant
Interaction - anxiety about going out on a date or interacting with a person of high status
Generalised ­ anxiety in any given situation where other people are present
Specific phobias ­ fear of specific objects, animals or places
Preparedness ­ human have a genetic predisposition to develop certain fears and these fears are more
common in phobias and have a biological basis; helping the organism survive e.g. fear of heights
Autonomic nervous system ­ people with phobias might have a highly active autonomic nervous
system which can cause higher levels of fear when threatened so people are more ready to develop
strong phobias
Classical conditioning ­ pairing of a natural stimulus which causes fear to a neutral stimulus which
creates a conditioned fear of the neutral stimulus

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Observational learning ­ Phobia develops vicariously; where you learn the phobia by observing
someone else experience pain or upset from an object or situation
Role model ­ watching someone you see as a role model act highly emotional or in an extreme way can
cause the person to develop a phobia
Catastrophic thoughts ­ where a person thinks that something dreadful will happen to them e.g.…read more

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Neurotransmitters ­ the brain abnormalities associated with anxiety are to do with neurotransmitters
especially norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin.…read more

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Obsessive-compulsive disorder ­ a disorder in which a person has recurrent and unwanted thoughts, a
need to perform repetitive and rigid actions, or both (Comer 2008). DSM describes the main symptoms
of OCD as;
Recurrent obsession and compulsions
Recognition by the individual that the obsessions and compulsions are excessive
and/or unreasonable
That the person is distressed or impaired, and daily life is disrupted by the
obsessions and compulsions
PET Scans ­ enabled researchers to identify abnormal brain activity.…read more

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Ego tries to reduce the feelings of anxiety by using defense mechanisms
Defense mechanism ­ like with phobias the ego uses defense mechanisms. The ego does this in an
attempt to get rid of unacceptable obsessive thoughts. The most common defense mechanisms include;
Reaction formation ­ behaviour is the opposite of that of the obsessive thoughts e.g.
thoughts of aggression result in a person being kind and giving to charity
Isolation ­ the ego tries to isolate the obsessive thought and not to respond emotionally.…read more

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Psychodynamic treatment ­ Very similar to the psychodynamic treatment of phobias. Uses free
association and dream analysis in an attempt to uncover the unconscious conflicts from the anal and
phallic stages.…read more


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