The behavioural approach to explaining phobias
The two-process model
Herbert Mowrer (1960) proposed the two-process model based on the behavioural approach to phobias. This states that phobias are acquired through classical conditioning and maintained through operant conditioning.
Aquisition through classical conditoning
Classical conditioning involves learning to associate something of which we initially have no fear (a neutral stimulus) with something that already triggers a fear (an unconditioned stimulus).
Watson and Rayner (1920) - Little Albert
Watson and Rayner created a phobia in a 9-month old baby. Albert showed no unusual anxiety at the start of the study. When shown a white rat, he tried to play with it - the experimenters then set out to give Albert a phobia. Whenever the rat was presented they made a loud, frightening noise by banging an iron bar. This noise is an unconditioned stimulus,…