Behavioural Approach to Explaining Phobias

  • Created by: Bethany
  • Created on: 03-09-19 12:12

Behavioural Two Process Model of Phobias

  • phobias are learned through the environment
  • Mowrer's (1960) two process model states that phobias are acquired by classical conditioning and maintained by operant conditioning.

Acquisition by classical conditioning:

It is argued that phobias are first learnt through classical conditiong (learning by association), as demonstrated by the study of Little Albert. Watson and Rayner (1920) demonstrated that Albert (a 9month old baby) had no fear at the start of the study when shown a white rat. After that whenever they presented Albert with the rat they also made a loud, frightening noise. The noise is an UCS that naturally produces an UCR of fear. As Albert showed no fear of the rat to begin with the rat is a NS. Albert learnt through the study to associate the loud noise with the white rat. The white rat became a CS and Albert's fearful response became a CR with the rat producing a fear response whether the loud noise was present or not.

Maintenance by operant conditioning:

Phobias are maintained by operant conditioning (learning…


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