The behavioural approach to explaining phobias

  • Created by: gemshort
  • Created on: 14-11-17 21:15

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

  • 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
  • Whenever the rat was presented they made a loud, frightening noise by banging an iron bar;


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