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AQA A-Level Psychology Paper 1 > Phobias > Flashcards

Flashcards in Phobias Deck (17)
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Give some examples of behavioural characteristcics of phobias.

Behavioural characteristics of phobias are categorised by avoidance behaviours. These include:
- 'Fight of flight reflex' - vasoconstriction, sweating, increased heart rate.


What are cognative characteristics in relation to phobias?

Obsessive thoughts about the situation or phobic object. the sufferer realises that their fear is irrational, yet they are unable to control their thoughts.


Who is credited with the two-process theory as an explaination for phobias?



Who did Watson and Raynor study in their classical conditioning study.

They performed their study on a baby boy who was known as, 'Little Albert'.


Briefly describe classical conditioning as it was performed on Little Albert.

Classical Conditioning:
UCS (noise) ----------> UCR (Fear)
UCS (noise) + CS (Rat) -------> UCR (Fear)
CS (Rat) ------> CR (Fear)


Classical conditioning is said to create the phobia. What is operant conditioning said to do?

Operant conditioning maintains the phobia and makes it worse.


How does operant conditioning work?

Operant conditioning preserves the phobia through positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement involves a positive outcome or avoidance of a phobic object. For example, reduction of anxiety when getting away the phobic object.
People will go to great lengths to avoid the object i.e planning ahead or putting up with all manner of inconvenience.


What does the Two - Process theory state?

The phobia is acquired through classical conditioning and maintained through operant conditioning.


Give an advantage of the behavioural approach's explaination of phobias.

- Emprirical methodology - Waton and Raynor conducted their experiment in laboratory conditions - giving their findings high validity and reliablility.
- Led to the development of real world therapies e.g systematic desensitisation - Barlow et al (2002) success rates of 60 - 90% for behaviourist therapies - giving credibility to this explaination.


Give a disadvantage of the behavioural approach to explaining phobias.

- Limited explaination - taking into account reward and punishment - ignores other factors e.g biology, childhood experience and everyday stressors - too simplistic in explaining a complex topic such as phobias.
- Watson and Raynor's study is ethically questionable.
- Ethnocentric sample in Watson and Raynor's study - low population validity - results may vary in pps of a different age group.


Who created the process of systematic desensitisation?

Joseph Wolpe (1958) created the treatment that is systematic desensitisation.


Briefly outline the steps of systematic desensitisation.

1). Client is taught relaxation techniques.
2). Client will construct a fear heirarchy - objects or situations from least feared to most feared.
3) Client and therapist willl confront each item in the list - only moving on when the client feels fully relaxed in that scenario.

If it has worked, the client will have learnt a new response to a stimulus. Relaxation. The client has been counter-conditioned.


What does 'flooding' involve?

Flooding involves direct exposure of the client to the phobic object/situation. The idea is the client will realise there is no basis to the phobia.


What is reciprocal inhibition, and which treatment does it apply to?

Reciprocal inhibition is the idea that a person cannot be afraid and relaxed at the same time, meaning one emotion prevents the other. It is the basis of systematic desensitisation.


What does implosion therapy involve?

A client will work with a therapist to imagine facing the phobia. It aims to show clients that their fear is groundless and there is no basis to their fears.


Give an advantage of behavioural treatments to phobias.

- Gilroy et al (2003) - 42 people - 45 minute sessions - SD condition were less fearful than the relaxation condition at both 3 and 33 months following therapy.
- Flooding is very cost effective - beneficial for NHS/taxpayer.
- Flooding is quick - it can work in as little as one session compared to 6 - 10 sessions for SD - both achieving the same results.


Give a disadvantage of behavioural treatments to phobias.

- Flooding is highly unpleasant - 'significantly more stressful than SD' (testiment to pps and therapists).
- Flooding has high removal rates - participants are more likely to pull out early compared to SD.
- Behavioural therapies in general only mask symptoms rather than deal with the underlying cause - symptom substitution - accounts of patients being cured of a phobia only to go and develop another phobia of equal severity - However, this analysis comes from case studies therefore it has low generalisability/population validity.