The Behavioural model of abnormality and treatments

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1. What is meant by operant conditioning?

  • It is about learning from actions, actions which have a good outcome through positive reinforcement or negative reinforcement will be repeated whereas actions which have a bad outcome, punsishment, will not
  • It is about learning from watching others and realising the negative outcomes of some behavious
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2. How are taste aversions created?

  • If you are ill after a certain food, it's taste becomes a conditioned stimulus producing a conditioned response of nausea
  • We experience anxiety around phobic stimuli and avoid them, this prevents anxiety and acts as negative reinforcement

3. How does operant conditioning apply to: maintaining phobias?

  • We experience anxiety around phobic stimuli and avoid them, this prevents anxiety and acts as negative reinforcement
  • These people feel guilt and disgust, so make themselves sick so the removal of those feelings is negative reinforcement
  • These people desire to lose weight or have more control of their lives, so not eating is positive reinforcement

4. What is meant by the behavioural therapy: systematic desensitization?

  • This is used for phobias: 1. the phobic makes a fear hierachy 2. a situation with their least feared event and made to relax 3. fear and relaxation can't happen at the same time 4. repeats until the phobic is only relaxed 5. repeat for whole hierachy
  • The removal of an abnormal behaviour by associating it with unpleasant feelings, for example: alcoholics are given alcohol at the same time as a drug which makes the nauseous

5. How does operant conditioning apply to: bulimics

  • These people feel guilt and disgust, so make themselves sick so the removal of those feelings is negative reinforcement
  • We experience anxiety around phobic stimuli and avoid them, this prevents anxiety and acts as negative reinforcement
  • These people desire to lose weight or have more control of their lives, so not eating is positive reinforcement

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