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Diagnosis of phobias
Classified in the DSM within the category of anxiety disorder; a
phobia is an irrational fear which causes excessive avoidance of a
feared object or situation.

The three types of phobia

1) Specific phobia

This is of an object or a situation e.g. spider, flying and injections,…

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Third is an extreme shyness and extreme fear of social situations,
being put in these situations can induce panic attacks.

Issues surrounding the classification and
diagnosis of phobic disorders

This refers to the consistency of a measuring instrument, such as a
scale to access fear ratings. Reliability can be…

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Kendler et al 1999 used face-to-face and telephone interviews to
assess indivduals with phobias. Over a one-month interval
(test-retest) they found a mean agreement of only +46, which is
fairly low. The long term reliability (8 years) was even lower, at +30.

Kindler et al suggest the reason for the…

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Throughout their stay, none of the staff recognised that they were
normal, although the genuine patients had their suspicions. In a
follow up study Rosenhan warned that he would be sending more
fake patients the hospitals way and they had to figure out which
patients they were.

Cultural differences in…

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expressed through dreams or phobias. When expressed through a
phobia the anxiety is displaced into a feared object or situation,
therefore the individual cannot express their real repressed fear so
they develop a phobia.

Little Hans

Freud originally based his concept of his explanation of phobias to
explain a young…

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that had a structured form of child rearing. The reason may be that
stricter parenting may lead to children having to repress desire,
thus supporting the psychodynamic explanation.

Further support comes from the fact that therapies that target the
phobia alone e.g. systematic desensitisation do not have a 100%

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Some psychologists think that the acquisition of phobias is a
two-step process. The first stage is classical conditioning. The second
stage is operant conditioning whereby avoiding the phobic stimulus
is reinforcing because it greatly relieves anxiety.

So avoiding dogs makes the person feel much better, relieving their
fear and anxiety.…

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danger beliefs are activated when a person is in close proximity to
the object itself.

Research has found that People with low self-esteem are more
likely to develop a phobia (not necessarily a social phobia). However
one problem with this approach is that the direction of causality
can't be established,…

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Solyom et al ­ studied 47 phobic disorders found that a family
history of psychiatric disorder was in 45% of the cases, 30% of their
mothers had a phobia in contrast to only 19% in families of
non-phobic control group of patients.

Noyes et al ­ found a higher than…




Clearly laid out and well organised. Really easy to understanding, so thanks!

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