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Flashcards in Learning Theory & Behavior Therapy 2 Deck (34):

What is counterconditioning in behavior therapy?

The technique of paring an undesirable behavior with an incompatible behavior to that the undesirable behavior is eliminated. In Wolpe's systematic desensitization, counterconditioning is called reciprocal inhibition and focuses on the sympathetic/parasympathetic response.


What is systematic desensitization in behavior therapy?

Exposing (imaginally or in vivo) an individual to a weakened version of a feared stimulus while engaged in an anxiolytic activity, e.g., relaxation. Developed by Wolpe & Jacobson.


What is systematic desensitization used for and how does it work?

Effective primarily for Specific Phobias, but also stuttering, sexual dysfunction, and insomnia. Research suggests extinction is key mechanism rather than counterconditioning as such.


What is assertiveness training in behavior therapy?

A counterconditioning technique in which, through pairing appropriate assertive behaviors with anxiety, assertiveness eventually replaces anxiety.


What is behavioral rehearsal in behavior therapy?

A counterconditioning technique in which appropriate and effective responses to real-life situations are practiced repeatedly with a therapist until they become natural for patient to apply in those situations. Can employ a hierarchy of behaviors from least- to most-anxiogenic.


What is sensate focus in behavior therapy?

A counterconditioning technique for sexual dysfunction in which a couple is limited to sexual touching and exploration (no goal of arousal or orgasm). This limitation allows the pairing of the anxiogenic stimulus with relaxation and pleasure. Behaviors are organized on a hierarchy at the top of which is sexual intercourse.


What is flooding in behavior therapy?

A technique based on exposure in which an individual is exposed (imaginally or in vivo) to phobic stimuli until the fear subsides. Does not rely on relaxation. Aka, exposure with response prevention. Can be instant or gradual; gradual is associated with greater tolerance and decreased generalized anxiety.


What is the incubation/paradoxical enhancement effect in behavior therapy?

When flooding (esp. instant exposure) increases fear arousal in response to phobic stimuli.


What are the key findings on the effectiveness of flooding?

In vivo is more effective than imaginal (Foa & Kozak, 1985). Prolonged exposure is more effective than brief (Stein & Marks, 1973). In vivo flooding and graded exposure are particularly effective with Agoraphobia or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (75% report improvement).


What is interoceptive exposure?

Structured and repeated exposure to panic-like symptoms, e.g., hyperventilation, shaking, tension, etc.


What is implosive therapy?

Aka, implosion. Imaginal exposure to phobic stimulus, attending to themes relevant to psychodynamic work. Research suggests that psychodynamic component may be unecessary.


What is aversive counterconditioning?

An aversive or noxious stimulus is paired with a behavior paired for elimination. Avoidance elicited by noxious stimulus will be elicited by target behavior. (Think Clockwork Orange.)


Discuss issues with in vivo aversive counterconditioning.

Used to treat Substance Dependence, Paraphilias, and self-injurious behaviors, it has significant practical and ethical problems. Used only when other treatments have failed, when individual's physical or psychological integrity is in jeopardy, by a competent practitioner, under surveillance of a review panel, and with the consent of the client or his/her representatives.


What does research suggest about the effectiveness of aversive counterconditioning?

It is most effective when the program is part of the individual's natural environment, uses a biologically appropriate aversive stimulus ideally in the same modality as the target behavior, the individual takes ownership of the process (self-control of stimulus), and is combined with positive reinforcement of adaptive responses.


What is covert sensitization in behavior therapy?

Imaginal aversive counter conditioning.


What does research suggest about covert sensitization in behavior therapy?

It is more effective for treating Paraphilias than obesity or addictive behaviors, and most successful when supplemented with in vivo aversive stimuli.


How are operant behaviors (operant conditioning) different from respondent behaviors (classical conditioning)?

Operant behaviors are voluntary and are emitted to produce a result in the environment. Respondent behaviors are automatic and are emitted as a result of an occurrence in the environment (an unconditioned or conditioned stimulus)


What is operant strength in operant conditioning?

The effectiveness of conditioning, measured in two ways: rate of responses during acquisition and total responses before extinction.


Compare classical extinction and operant extinction.

In classical extinction, a conditioned stimulus is presented repeatedly without the unconditioned stimulus until the conditioned stimulus no longer elicits the conditioned response. In operant extinction, a reinforcer is withdrawn until the target behavior is decreased or eliminated.


Discuss learned helplessness and attribution theory.

Learned helplessness results from experience indicating that an organism's actions cannot affect an outcome. It has been theorized that depression may result from attributing outcomes to internal (self), global ("I fail at everything"), stable ("It will always be this way") sources.


Describe Lewinsohn's behavioral model of depression.

Depression is associated with a low rate of response-contingent positive reinforcement, extinguishing behaviors that produce positive reinforcement or minimize unpleasant outcomes, e.g., social behaviors (vicious circle of depression -> fewer behaviors -> more depression, etc.). Also increases self-awareness, self-criticism, and behavioral withdrawal. Potential for negative feedback loop when social networks mobilize to support depressed individual.


What is a response burst?

A short-term increase in behavior when a reinforcer is withdrawn, e.g., increased crying when mother stops attending to a crying baby.


What is behavioral contrast?

An increase in the remaining behavior when one of two previously reinforced behaviors is extinguished.


What is a primary reinforcer?

A reinforcer that is inherently valuable, e.g., food, water, sex.


What is a secondary reinforcer?

A reinforcer the value of which is acquired through association with a primary reinforcer. One example would be a light associated with food as a reward; eventually, the light becomes reinforcing. Importantly, secondary reinforcers that are associated with multiple primary reinforcers are especially powerful, e.g., money.


Name the five schedules of reinforcement.

Continuous, plus four types of intermittent: fixed ratio, fixed interval, variable ratio, variable interval.


What behaviors are associated with a continuous schedule of reinforcement?

Fast learning, fast satiation, fast extinction. Useful for establishing behavior, but poor resistance to extinction.


What is thinning?

Switching from a continuous to an intermittent schedule of reinforcement.


Give an example of a fixed ratio schedule of reinforcement.

Piecework, getting paid for each unit a working produces, e.g., $X for every pair of jeans sewn.


Give an example of a fixed interval schedule of reinforcement.

Salary, e.g., getting paid every two weeks. Produces lowest rate of responding and lowest resistance to extinction.


What is the scallop effect?

Associated with a fixed interval schedule of reinforcement, it is the tendency of an organism to increase target behavior just before reinforcement is due, e.g., being extra good just before Christmas.


Give an example of a variable ratio schedule of reinforcement.

Slot machine gambling. Generates a high and constant rate of responding and is the most resistant to extinction of all reinforcement schedules.


Give an example of a variable interval schedule of reinforcement.

A professor giving pop quizzes at irregular intervals.


What is the Matching Law?

Two or more simultaneously available reinforcement opportunities will elicit response rates proportional to their rate of reinforcement. For example, a lever expelling food at a variable interval of avg. 15 seconds will be pressed four times as often as one at a variable interval of avg. 60 seconds. Consistent across species.