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1

How does the explanation account for how phobias are acquired?

They are acquired through classical conditioning.

2

How does the explanation account for how phobias are maintained?

They are maintained through operant conditioning.

3

Which key approach is used to explain phobias?

Behaviourist approach.

4

Explain how someone would acquire a fear of a dog after seeing it bite a bone:

Through classical conditioning:
- The neutral stimulus of the dog brings no response.
- The unconditional stimulus of the dog's bite brings around an unconditioned response of fear.
- The dog is seen biting and this brings about a conditioned response of fear and the dog is now the conditioned stimulus.

5

What is the famous example of how a phobia is acquired?

Little Albert (1920).

6

Explain how phobias are acquired:

The NS has no initial response of fear and the UCS elicits a UCR of fear. Eventually the NS becomes conditioned into the CS, which brings about the CR (fear) and a phobia is acquired.

7

What does operant conditioning involve?

Learning through consequences.

8

Who proposed the two-step model?

Hobart Mowrer, (1960).

9

Explain how the model explains how Watson and Rayner conditioned a phobia of white fluff into Little Albert:

Little Albert initially showed no fear towards various objects, including a white rat. Watson and Rayner struck a metal bar behind Albert's head every time he went to reach for the rat, causing a loud noise. After this they brought the rat back in and and a fear had been induced in Albert, his fear was generalised to white furry objects such as Santa Claus beards.

10

Which experiment demonstrated the behavioural approach to acquiring phobias?

Watson and Raynor (1920) - Little Albert experiment.

11

Classical conditioning can explain why we acquire phobias, but why do these phobias not decay over time?

Because they are maintained through operant conditioning.

12

If someone acquires a fear of dogs when they are bitten, it is unlikely that every dog they encounter will bite them. However, the phobia can be maintained, why is this?

If the sufferer sees a dog on the street and moves away from it (avoidance), this avoidance reduces the feelings of anxiety and negatively reinforces this behaviour.

13

Explain how phobias are maintained through operant conditioning?

The fear in negatively reinforced, this is where the behaviour is strengthened because an unpleasant consequence is removed.

14

Which element of operant conditioning is involved in phobia maintainance?

Negative reinforcement (and a small part of punishment).

15

T / F:
Phobias are maintained through classical conditioning.

False - They are maintained through negative reinforcement.

16

Explain how phobias are maintained through punsihment?

The sufferer being made to be near the stimulus creates anxiety, this is the punishment.

17

How can the social learning theory be used to explain phobias?

- Phobias may be acquired through modelling the behaviour of others, vicarious reinforcement, observation and imitation.

18

T / F:
Phobias are acquired through classical conditioning.

True.

19

AO3 - Good explanatory power.

The two-step model explains how phobias can be acquired and maintained, this had important implications for therapies because it explains why patients need to be exposed to their stimulus. The treatment of phobias is also derived from the explanation.

20

T / F:
Phobias are acquired through negative reinforcement.

False - They are acquired through classical conditioning.

21

AO3 - Cognitive aspects.

This explanation is based upon the behavioural aspects especially avoidance, whilst we know that there are cognitive elements to phobias aswell, this means that the explanation is incomplete.

22

AO3 - Alternative explanation for avoidance behaviour.

Not all avoidance behaviour associated with avoidance seems to be the result of anxiety reduction, especially for complex phobias such as agoraphobia. This is a problem for the two-step model, which suggests that avoidance is motivated by anxiety reduction.

23

T / F:
Phobias are acquired through operant conditioning.

False - They are acquired through classical conditioning.

24

AO3 - Incomplete explanation.

The explanation can be used for some aspects of phobias, however, some aspects require some further explanations. Evolutionary factors probably have an important role in phobias but this is not mentioned in the model. The biological preparedness principle is the innate predisposition to acquire certain fears. This phenomenon of preparedness is a serious problem for the model as it shows there is more to phobias than just fear.

25

AO3 - Phobias that don't follow trauma.

Some phobias that follow a bad experience can easily be seen as a result of conditioning, however, some phobias are developed without trauma. The explanation is therefore incomplete.

26

T / F:
Phobias are maintained through operant conditioning.

True - More specifically negative reinforcement (and punishment).

27

Who created the idea of biological preparedness?

Seligman, (1971).

28

Explain the biological preparedness principle:

It is the innate predisposition to acquire certain fears such as snakes and spiders.

29

How can a phobia of snakes or spiders be acquired easily without a traumatic experience prior to developing the phobia?

The biological preparedness principle explains that we have an innate disposition to develop a phobia to certain things.

30

T / F:
Phobias are acquired through positive reinforcement.

False - They are acquired through classical conditioning.