Biological explanation - Ohman
Aim:To see if phobias of snakes could be more easily conditioned than phobias of faces and houses indicating a biological preparedness to develop phobias of certain objects.
Sample: 64 paid volunteers aged 20 - 30 years. 26 Males 38 Females.
Psychology students from Sweden.
Method: Laboratory experiment. Independent measures
Procedure:Participant shown slides of houses, faces and snakes in random order
Group 1: Received uncomfortable electric shock after pictures of snakes
Group 2: Recevied uncomfortable electric shock after pictures of houses
Group 3: Received uncomfortable electric shock after pictures of faces
Biological explanation - Ohman cont...
Procedure cont...: Galvanic skin response was measured as a measure of fear. Conductance is a measure of sweating, a physiological response to fear.
Results: Group 1 had the highest level of fear.
Participants were more likely to show fear reactions to snakes than houses or face, so this shows a biological preparedness to develop phobias to objects that may cause us harm.
Evaluation: Reliability - Labartory experiment, reliable measure , test re-test
Validity of measure- may not be valid measure of fear as it may come down to individual difference.
Method: No order effect, individual differences, cause and effect, control of extraneous variables.
Sample Size - Generalisable - Ethnocentric
Behavioural explanation - Watson & Raynor
Aim: To assess if a baby can be conditioned to produce a fear response to a previously neutral stimulus.
Sample: 'Little Albert'; 8 month old baby boy.
Method: Case Study
Procedure: White rat was shown - loud noise was made with a steel bar behind him
Noise frightened Albert
Associated fear with the rat
Fear generalised to to other white fluffy things as well
NS (Rat) + UCS (Loud Noise) ---> UCR (Fear)
CS ( Rat + Loud Noise) ---> CR (Fear)
Behavioural explanation - Watson & Raynor cont...
Results: It is possible to condition fear through classical conditioning.
Fear was transferred to other similar objects (generalization)
Validity - One case study apply to other people? Demand characteristics?
Reliability - Can the procedure standardised?
Cognitive explanation - DiNardo
Aim:To assess whether 'excessive worry; is a symptom of Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Sample: Patients attending the clinics in USA
Method: Quasi Experiment, Independent Measures; Group of patients with GAD and without GAD.
Procedure: Patients interviewed using Anxiety Disorders Interview or Structured Clinical Interview for DSM.
A five point rating scale was used to measure excessive worry.
Results: Significantly more patients with GAD reported excessive worry than non patients.
More patients without GAD reported no excessive worry
Patients with GAD reported excessive worry for 59% of the day. Those without GAD for 42% of the day.
Cognitive explanation - DiNardo cont...
Results cont: Excessive worry, which indicates faulty thinking is found more in GAD patients.
Causal Link - Quasi Experiment - Extraneous Variables