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Explanations of Description Strengths and weaknesses
Biological Genetic explanation Evidence subject to alternative explanations
Inherit- specific phobias often run in families Criticised methodological- lacks ecological
If a fist degree relative has a specific phobia you're more likely too validity + problems with twin studies
Does not explain why some…

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Eysenck Diathesis stress model

-if it's in your genes a disorder may not involve unless environmental
stressors occur to trigger the disorder
Personality test to measure stability/ instability
Prediction- unstable individuals more likely to have anxiety disorder

-difficult to show stability caused by hypersensitive nervous system or
autonomic nervous…

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-fear of harmful animals/situations- provide evolutionary advantage- passed
on natural selection

Evidence- most people are fearful and move unpredictably
Took ideas of natural selection + survival of the fittest + applied it to
gaining a phobia
Thousands of years ago people developed phobias that could be
dangerous to use…

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Half of dog phobias are due to them being bitten however the Evidence fear can be induced in children(little
other half haven't been bitten could support biological explanations albert)-numbers are small and finding are not
Children are easier to generalise than adults the same each time
Attempts to replicate the…

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Cognitive Focuses on conscious thoughts people with phobias Better at explaining why phobias are
Clark- phobics think in a distorted way and have catastrophic maintained, rather than how and why they
thoughts- they think something dreadful will happen to them appeared in the first place
-e.g. a person with a…

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Social phobics have developed schemas(mental representations that
serve a plan or a guide to action) that include expectations of others
being negative and rejecting.
-social phobics have become hypersensitive to picking up cues from
others that they then interpret negatively

Psychodynamic Phobias occur when id(unconscious part of personality-pleasure principle, -Freudian…


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