The Behavioural Approach to Psychopathology

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Behavioural Approach

Conditioning: Classical/Operant

Classical conditioning: learning an association between a neutral stimulus (e.g. a dentist) and an unconditioned stimulus (e.g. pain). The fear response generalises to the previously neutral stimulus (now conditioned) thus phobias may be learned through classical conditioning.

Sound/sight/smell can influence our actions.

Operant conditioning: behaviour is shaped and maintained by its consequences (Skinner).

Consequences may have positive or negative reinforcement styles or punishment. Thus, depression results from a lack of positive reinforcements (approval etc) or an excess of negative experiences - punishments.



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