PsyA4... Phobias

A2 Psychology revision

  • Created by: Jamie
  • Created on: 10-04-12 23:02


Phobic disorders are included in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)

3 types - Agoraphobia... Specific phobias... Social phobias.

A diagnosis of a phobic disorder is made if... There is no other possible physiological cause... or... if the symptoms cannot be better accounted for by another disorder.

To be classified as a phobia the individual must recognise that their behaviour is unreasonable.

The degree to which the person's functioning is impaired distingushes between a fear and a phobic disorder.

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Types of phobias

Agoraphobia... The fear of being trapped in a public place/situation where escape may be embarrassing. 

Specific phobias... Fears about specific objects or situations. e.g. heights, animals, flight, etc

Social phobias... Like extreme shyness - Fear of "performing" (speaking, eating, etc) in front of others. e.g. making a presentation.

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Reliability and Validity


Skyre et al (1991)... assessed inter-rater reliability (IRR) for diagnosing social phobia... three clinicians assessed 54 patient interviews obtained using a structured interview... found high IRR (+0.72) proving that diagnosis of social phobias is reliable.

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