Aversion Therapy

Classical Conditioning treatment from the Learning Approach

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  • Created by: Hannah
  • Created on: 10-05-10 18:37



Meyer et Chesser (1970) half of alcoholics had obtained for at least 1 year

Duker et Seys (2000) stopped some of 41 children from self harming although some carried on with the behaviour

Marks et al (1970) aversian therapy with sexual behaviours- success after 2 years.

(studies support therapy)

  • Ethics- Patients give informed consent
  • Aversion Therapy more effective for addiction than any other treatment
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  • do we have the right to deprive people of their addiction and what they enjoy?
  • causing physical harm by injecting drug (ethics)
  • misused- "curing" homosexuals
  • doesn't introduce a new behaviour just gets rid of the old one and association may become extinct.
  • can take a while for the therpay to take effect
  • aversion therapy which uses electric shocks has been known to cause anxiety and is painful
  • Covert sensitization is a much less painful alternative
  • there is a high chance that spontaneous recovery will occur.
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Aversion Therapy (Classical Conditioning)

  • Conditioning: a pleasurable response is replaced with something unpleasant to stop a specific behaviour e.g. a drug to make you vomit, electric shocks, unpleasant substance under finger nails to stop nail biting.

For example: (with alcohol addiction)

UCS (drug- antabuse)------------------------------------------------------------------UCR (Vomiting)

UCS (drug) + NS (alcohol)---------------------------------------------UCR (unpleasant feeling accompanied by vomiting)

CS (alcohol)-----------------------------------------------------------------CR (unpleasant feeling)

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