The Two Process model
- Mowrer (1960) - phobias are acquired by classical conditioning and then continue because of operant conditioning
- Acquisition by classical conditioning
- Involves learning to associate of initially have no fear in with something that triggers a fear response.
- Little Albert - rat became a conditioned stimulus which produces a conditioned response through continues association with loud noise.
- Maintenace by operant conditioning.
- Responses required by classical conditioning usually tend to decline over time.
- Long lasting phobas is the result of operant conditioning. (Mowrer).
- Takes place when behaviour is rewarded or punished.
- Reward - increase frequency of behaviour. Negative reinforcement - is an individual avoids a situation that is unpleasive.
- Reducation in fear reinforces avoidance behaviour (desirable consequence) = phobia maintained.
1 of 4
The Two Process model - Evaluation
- Good explanatory power
- It explains how phobias could be maintained over time and this has important implications for therapies because it explains why patients need to be exposed to the feared stimulus.
- Once patient is prevented from practising avoidance = reinforcement declines.
- Incomplete explanation of phobias
- Bounton (2007) - evolutionary factors probably have an important role in phobias but the two-factor does not mention this.
- Example: we easily acquire phobias of things that have been a source of danger in our evolutionary past.
- Problem - it shows there is more to acquiring phobias than simple conditioning.
2 of 4
- Systematic Desensitisation
- Behavioural therapy to gradually reduce phobic anxiety through principle of classical conditioning.
- The anxiety hierarchy - a list of situation related to phobic stimulus that provoke anxiety arrange in order from least to most frightening.
- Relaxation - therapist teaches the patient to relax deeply as possible.
- Exposure - patient is exposed to the phobic stimulus while in a relaxation state (moving up the hierarchy)
- A phobic patient is exposed to an extreme form of a phobic stimulus in order to reduce anxiety triggered by that stimulus.
- Flooding stops phobic responses very quickly - patient quicky learns that the phobic stimulus is harmless.
- Patient may achieve relaxation - have become exhausted by their own fear response.
3 of 4
Treating Phobias - Evaluation
- It is acceptible to patients (Systematic Desensitisation)
- Those given the choice of either SD or Flooding prefers SD - it doesnt cause the same degree of trauma as flooding.
- SD Includes some elements - relaxation procedures which are pleasant.
- It is effective
- Gilroy et al - 42 patients treated for spider phobas in 3 45mins sessions of SD and other group treated through just relaxation.
- After treatment - SD group were less fearful than the relaxation group.
- Flooding is traumatic to patients
- It is unethical but that pateitns are often willing to see it through the end.
- Time and money are sometimes wasted preparing patientns only to have them refuce to start or complete treatment.
4 of 4
Similar Psychology resources: