Phobias

What is the definition of a phobia?
Characterised by excessive fear and anxiety triggered by an object or situation. The extent of which the fear is out of proportion and the fear is irrational to any real danger presented by the phobic stimuli
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What are the phobia sub-types?
Specific Phobia. Social Phobia. Agoraphobia
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What is meant by a Specific Phobia?
Phobia of an object (such as an animal) or a situation (such as flying)
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What is meant by a Social Phobia?
Phobia of a social situation (such as public speaking or using a public toilet)
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What is meant by Agoraphobia?
Phobia of being outside or in a public place
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According to the Behavioural Explanation of phobias, how many processes are in the model, and what are they?
Two - Classical conditioning and Operant conditioning
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According to the Behavioural Explanation of phobias, what is step 1 of getting a phobia?
Acquire- Association between a neutral stimulus and an unconditioned stimulus to produce a response
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According to the Behavioural Explanation of phobias, what is step 2 of getting a phobia?
Maintain- Learning through consequences and rewards or punishments
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What are the 3 behavioural characteristics of phobias?
Panic. Endurance. Avoidance
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Outline the 'Panic' behavioural characteristic of a phobia?
Entails a phobic perso in contact with the stimulus crying, freezing, clinging etc
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Outline the 'Endurance' behavioural characteristic of a phobia?
Entails the sufferer remaining in the presence of the stimulus, experiencing high levels of anxiety
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Outline the 'Avoidance' behavioural characteristic of a phobia?
Entails the sufferer going to a lot of effort to void situations related to the stimulus, thus making it hard to go about daily life
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What are the 3 cognitive characteristics of phobias?
Selective attention. Irrational beliefs. Cognitive distortions
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Outline the 'Selective attention' cognitive characteristic of a phobia?
Makes it hard to look away from the phobic stimulus so that response to threat is quicker
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Outline the 'Irrational beliefs' cognitive characteristic of a phobia?
Irrational beliefs about the stimulus increase the pressure on the sufferer to perform well in phobic situations
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Outline the 'Cognitive distortions' behavioural characteristic of a phobia?
Perceptions of the phobic stimulus may be changed/worsened in comparison to how they really are, e.g snake = evil alien
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Anxiety is an emotional characteristic, how will anxiety be impacted when around a phobic stimulus?
Cause a state of high arousal, it is very likely o be present when a sufferer is around the phobic stimulus, along with fear. Anxiety levels increase around the stimulus
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What is the difference between anxiety and fear?
Anxiety is the general emotional unpleasant response to the phobic situation. Fear is the actual emotional response to the stimuli itself
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What are the three types of consequence in operant conditioning?
Positive, Negative and Punishment
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What does Mowrer suggest about Phobias?
Whenever we avoid a phobic situation we successfully avoid the fear and anxiety. This reduction in fear reinforces the avoidance behaviour and so the phobia is maintained.
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What is a weakness of the behavioural approach to explaining phobias?
Not every negative experience leads to a phobia, e.g. bitten by a dog as a child yet displays no fear as an adult. Also some sufferers are unable to pinpoint the trigger that led to their phobia. TST explanation is incomplete
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What is a strength of the behavioural approach to explaining phobias?
Can be combined with biological ones- the idea of genetic vulnerability shows how some people are more susceptible to developing phobias through environmental experiences. TST enriched understanding of cause and treatment of phobias
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How did Bounton criticise the behavioural approach of phobias?
Argues 2-process-model neglects influence of evolution history; avoidance behaviours are learnt faster if they resemble an animals natural defensive response. TST can be considered environmentally reductionist for only considering learning of phobias
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How does Watsons research support the behavioural explanation of phobias?
He was able to classically condition a small child to be phobic of white rats y pairing the presence of the rat with a loud noise, causing Little Albert to associate his phobia with a number if white objects. TST externally valid
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What are the two ways to treat phobias?
Flooding and Systematic Desensitisation
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On average how many systematic desensitisation sessions are required?
4-6 session. Up to 12 sessions if the phobia is severe
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When is the systematic desensitisation therapy considered "complete"?
When the agreed goals are met, so not necessarily when the phobia is removed.
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What does 'IN VITRO' mean?
When the patient IMAGINES being exposed to their phobic stimulus/situation
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What does 'IN VIVO' mean?
When the patient is PHYSICALLY exposed to their phobic stimuli/situation
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According to research what technique is more successful, IN VITRO or IN VIVO?
IN VIVO (physically exposed)
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What study can be used to support the behavioural explanation of phobias?
Wolpe - used systematic desensitisation of an 18 year old boy that had compulsion to wash his genetalia for 45 mins, his hands for 2 hours and shower fofr 4 hours. He started by thinking about urine, until urine was put on his hands
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Briefly outline Langs study into systematic desensitisation
use it on college students that had a snake phobia. They were given 11 sessions to get through the hierarchy. Hypnosis for relaxation. Fear fell and was improving still after 6 month check
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Briefly outline Rothbaums study into systematic desensitisation
used on ppts who dislike flying. 93% agreed to take a trial flight after SD. Anxiety levels lower than that of control group. Sill improved after 6 month check
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Briefly outline Capafons study into systematic desensitisation
41 aerophobic sufferers in Spain. 20 had SD, rest was control group. 2x1 hour sessions of in vivo & in vitro each week for 12-15 weeks. Physiological measures&self resorts used in flight simulation. All but 2 of SD patients had less anxiety after
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How does the behavioural approach explain why behaviours such as phobias occur?
Maladaptive learning
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How does the behavioural approach assume people are born?
Tabula Rasa
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What ar the behavioural therapies of phobias based on?
Classical Conditioning; learning via association
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What is the focus of behavioural therapies of phobias?
Focusing on behaviour in order to remove the behaviour
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Briefly describe what flooding entails as a therapy
Exposing the patient directly to their worst fears, in a secure environment
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What is flooding also known as
Implosion theory
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Give an example of how flooding could treat someone who has claustrophobia
Locking them in a closet
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How does flooding work?
Putting them in a state of extreme anxiety eventually exhaustion sets in and the anxiety levels begin to decrease
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Why does flooding work?
Have no choice but to confront their fears and when the panic subsides, they realise they've come to no harm
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What is the final result of flooding?
Creates new association between the feared object and something positive
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Who is flooding not suitable for?
Children or elderly
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Why does flooding raise ethical concerns?
It is not suitabl fro patients who are not in good mental health, because the extreme anxiety is stressful on the body, eventho for a short time, increases the risk of heart attack etc
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What is the major issue with flooding?
Confront them with their fear - cant throw someone off a cliff just because they are scared of flying
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

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What are the phobia sub-types?

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Specific Phobia. Social Phobia. Agoraphobia

Card 3

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What is meant by a Specific Phobia?

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Card 4

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What is meant by a Social Phobia?

Back

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Card 5

Front

What is meant by Agoraphobia?

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