Prepardness Theory

this theory links to the explanation of phobias. it is linked to the Evolutionary approach

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AO1: AO2:
The preparedness theory states that some phobic response is more
common than others STRENGTHS:
SELIGMAN states that species are innately prepared to avoid certain PT accounts for the irrationality of phobias - phobias persist in the face
stimuli as they are viewed as dangerous. of logical argument
A study conducted by GARCIA AND KOELLING, they showed that rats Suggests why people can develop a phobia without any memory of a
could be conditioned to life threatening stimuli like shocks or toxic traumatic event
liquids. (AO2 AND AO3) - You can't generalise this study to humans Evidence that prepared fear conditioning can be acquired with the
because it was conducted on rats. There are ethical issues involved, for minimum contact with the feared stimulus
example, they were inflicting pain on the rats, so they weren't protecting MINEKA ET AL found that Rhesus monkeys (can't generalise to humans)
them. developed a persistent fear of snakes after a brief exposure to the sight of
OHMAN ET AL conducted a study following the principle of classical their parents behaving fearfully in front of a toy snake
conditioning. They induced fear in a group of volunteers, non-fearful
participants using different stimuli - (AO3) - It was a volunteer sample, so
the researchers might not get the target population only a specific group,
It's possible to develop phobias for feathers and buttons - rare. It's
this means you can't generalise it
difficult for the theory to explain these.
There were two conditions, condition 1 was prepared, and condition 2
In Ohman's study participants that no more shocks would be delivered at
was unprepared stimuli. It was an independent measures study; this
the end. Conditioned fear to neutral object went away. Conditioned fear
means that the pps were less likely to get bored of the experiment. The
to prepared object didn't
presentations were prepared with electric shocks in both conditions
(AO3) - This is unethical as you are harming the pps
It doesn't explain why there are such wide individual differences in the
tendency to acquire phobias
They found out that fear conditioning took place quickly after this first
pairing in the first condition. It took five pairings to condition a fear MCNALLY AND STEKETEE found that in 19% of cases of snake and spider
response to the second condition phobias, the concern was not the fear of getting harmed but the fear of
having a panic attack

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