The two process model


Acquisition by classical conditioning

  • John watson and Roslaine Rayer created a phobia in a 9 month baby called 'little Albert'.
  • at the start of the study Alvbert had no unusal anxiety. when shown a white rat he played with it.
  • However the experiment set out a new phobia when the white rat was presented they made a loud, frightening noise by banging an iron bar close to Albert ear.
  • This noise is an unconditioned stimulus which creates  an unconditioned (unlearnt) response of fear. Because the white rat (neutral stimulus) and the loud noise (unconditioned stimulus) were together at the same time the rat became associated with the loud noise meaning they both now produce fear response. Albert became frightened when he saw the rat.
  • RAT= conditioned (learned) stimulus that produces= conditioned response 
  • This conditioning then generalised to similar objetcs such as non white rabbit., fur coat. Little Albert display distress at all of the objects/animals given. 
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Maintenance by operant conditioning

  • phobias are often long lasting 
  • Mowrer has explained this as the result of operant conditioing 
  • Operant conditioning takes place when our behaviour is reinforced or punished 
  • In this case of negative reinforcement an indivdual avoids a situation that is unpleasant. For example having a phobia of spiders imagine seeing one we successfully escape and runaway from the fear that would of been suffered if we stayed there. Avoidence of beaviour so the phobia is maintained 
  • Positve reinforcement is continuing to do good so reward is taken. such as doing homework the aim of doing homework is to achieve reward. 
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