Explanations for Phobias

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  • Created by: emortimer
  • Created on: 22-05-16 14:33

The two-process model based on the behavioural approach to phobias. This states that phobias are acquired by classical conditioning and then continue because of operant conditioning. 

Acquisition by classical conditioning:

  • Learning to associate something of which we initially have no fear (called a neutral stimulus) with something that already triggers a fear repsonse (known as unconditioned stimulus). 
  • Watson and Rayner's 'Little Albert' experiment. Albert, a 9-month-old baby was conditioned to have a phobias of rats. Whenever a rat was presented to him, a loud, frightening noise was presented next to his ear. The noise is an unconditioned stimulus (UCS) which creates an unconditioned response (UCR) of fear. When the rat (a neutral stimulus, NS) and the unconditioned stimulus are encountered close together in time, the NS becomes associated with the UCS and both now


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