Biological explanations

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Fyer et al (1995) - support for family studies
Found that probands had three times as many relatives who also experienced phobias as normal controls.
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Solyom et al (1974) - support for family studies
Found that 45% of phobic patients had at least one relative with the disorder, compared to a rate of 17% of non-phobic controls.
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Kendler at al (1992) - support for family studies
Estimated a 67% heritability rate for agoraphobia, 59% for blood/injury, 51% for social phobias and 47% for animals phobias.
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Torgersen (1983) - support from twin studies
Compared MZ twins and same-sex DZ pairs (total number of twins was 85) where one twin (the proband) had an anxiety disorder with panic attacks. Such disorders were 5 times more frequent in MZ twin pairs.
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Tiihonen et al (1997) - support for inheritance
Found a significantly lower number of dopamine re-uptake sites in patients with social phobia than in normal controls. This low number of sites would be likely to lead to abnormally low levels of dopamine.
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Marks (1987) - support for preparedness
When an infant sees a stranger, they first look at their mother to gauge her response. Fear in the mother is likely to produce a fearful reaction from the infant.
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Mineka et al (1984) - support for preparedness
Rhesus monkeys rapidly develop a fear of snakes if they see another rhesus monkey showing fear towards a snake however, the same rapid association is not made if another rhesus monkey shows fear towards a flower.
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Merckelbach et al (1988) - support for preparedness
Found that most of the clinical phobias in their sample were rated as non-prepared rather than prepared.
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Bennett-Levy and Marteau (1984) - support for prepotency
When asking participants to rate a list of animals for fearfulness, ugliness and strangeness, that some animals (such as a slug) should have been highly feared, but weren't.
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Ohman and Soares (1994) - support for prepotency
Provided evidence for prepotency effects. 'Masked' pictures were constructed of feared objects in such a way they weren't recognisable at first. Pps who were more fearful of such objects showed greater GSR compared to neutral objects and non-phobics.
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Card 2

Front

Found that 45% of phobic patients had at least one relative with the disorder, compared to a rate of 17% of non-phobic controls.

Back

Solyom et al (1974) - support for family studies

Card 3

Front

Estimated a 67% heritability rate for agoraphobia, 59% for blood/injury, 51% for social phobias and 47% for animals phobias.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Compared MZ twins and same-sex DZ pairs (total number of twins was 85) where one twin (the proband) had an anxiety disorder with panic attacks. Such disorders were 5 times more frequent in MZ twin pairs.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Found a significantly lower number of dopamine re-uptake sites in patients with social phobia than in normal controls. This low number of sites would be likely to lead to abnormally low levels of dopamine.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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