health and social care

  • Created by: Tanya
  • Created on: 06-06-12 20:59

List symptoms that an individual with a phobia might experience when exposed to the feared object or situation.


• feeling confused, anxious or disorientated

• rapid heart beat

• dry mouth

• feeling nauseous

• intense sweating

• difficulty breathing

• chest pain

• dizziness

• tensing, being unable to move.

Use Pavlov’s theory of classical conditioning to discuss why people with phobias have a strong desire to avoid whatever is causing their fears.

According to this theory, a phobia is a learned association between the stimulus or feared object and the fear response – by avoiding the feared object the individual does not have to experience the fear.

Phobias seem to run in families, but whether they are genetically inherited is uncertain, with an alternative explanation being Bandura’s Social Learning Theory.

Define the following concepts form Bandura’s theory and apply them to discuss why phobias run in families.

Modelling and Definition



Selecting a significant person to use as a role model – the behaviours of the role model is then imitated.

Application to why phobias run in families

Individuals are likely to select role models whom they see as similar to themselves or as loving or powerful – for example parents, and in particular the same sex parent, are often powerful role models. If these role models display phobic reactions to particular stimuli this is observed and imitated, e.g. a young girl copying the behaviour of her mother who is afraid of spiders.



Answers may include:

The process of internalising the behaviour of a role model so that the role model’s behaviour is no longer simply imitated but part of the individual’s own personality.

Application to why phobias run in families

Answers may include:

If an individual has a phobic role model in the family and imitates this person, the phobic behaviour eventually becomes internalised or part of that individual’s own personality, e.g. child with a phobia about the same stimulus – this explains why such fears run in families.

Discuss how modelling therapy can be used to treat people with phobias.

Modelling therapy involves getting someone with a phobia to observe someone else dealing with the feared object in a more productive way – the first person will learn by modelling the second

• Clients with a phobia can watch another person, an actor, go through a slow and painful approach to the feared object. The actor acts terrified at first, but shakes himself out of it, tells himself to relax and breathe normally, and takes one step at a time towards the feared object

• Ultimately, the actor gets to the point where he approaches and touches the feared object, all the while giving himself calming instructions

• After the phobic individual sees this he/she is invited to try it

• The phobic individual takes on the behaviour of the actor with whom he can identify because they appear to have the same fear.

Analyse how behaviour therapies can be used to…




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