Flashcards in Unit 4 Media Response Deck (42):
Define anxiety disorders.
Dysfunctional feelings of extreme apprehension, fear, stress and uneasiness.
What are the five main types of anxiety disorder.
- Generalised anxiety disorder.
- Phobic disorder.
- Panic disorder.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder.
Define phobic disorder.
A fear of something that interferes with a person's ability to function in day-to-day life.
In what percentage of the population do anxiety disorders occur?
When are women more vulnerable to anxiety disorders?
Between 45-54 years old.
Defined as a persistent, irrational and intense fear of a particular object or event.
What is social phobia?
Can involve a fear of other people or social situations.
What is specific phobia?
Fear of a single object or event that triggers a panic response.
What is agoraphobia?
Fear of leaving a familiar place such as home.
What are the three contributing biological factors to the maintenance and development of a phobia?
- Stress response.
- GABA (Gamma-amino butyric acid).
- Genetic factors.
What is the role of the stress response?
Activates the fight-or-flight response; releasing stress hormones such as adrenaline and noradrenaline into the blood stream to:
- Increase heart rate.
- Increase respiration rate.
- Circulate more glucose through the body for more energy.
- Improve focus.
- Temporarily boost stamina to either fight the impending danger or flee to a safe place.
List the symptoms of the stress response.
- Elevated heart rate
- Elevated blood pressure
- Palpitations (abnormally fast heartbeat that the person is aware of)
- Shortness of breath
- Skin sensation of prickling, burning or itching
Where are the amygdala and hippocampus located?
Left and right medial temporal lobes.
What does the amygdala do?
Is vital in initiating and processing emotional responses and in forming emotional memories.
- Is part of the Limbic system.
What does the hippocampus do?
Involved in the formation of declarative memories such as information about the world, facts, knowledge and autobiographical memories.
Outline what occurs when a person experiences a frightening event.
- Frightening event.
- All senses are processed by the amygdala.
- Emotion is linked to the memory.
- Memory is consolidated by the hippocampus.
What is the amygdala responsible for?
The formation and storage of classically conditioned events.
Therefore, if a person is exposed to a similar stimulus to the anxiety-inducing stimulus, the amygdala 'triggers' the emotion of fear which leads to the fight-or-flight response.
What does GABA stand for?
Gamma-amino butyric acid.
What is GABA and what is its role?
It is a neurotransmitter which has an inhibitory role in the regulation of anxiety, arousal and sleep.
Low levels of GABA = High levels of anxiety
GABA-producing synapses are present in approximately 40% of all nerve junctions in the brain.
Which kinds of people are more likely to develop anxiety disorders or specific phobias?
People who are nervous and apprehensive about environmental objects and events.
What can disorders such as phobia also be triggered by?
- Psychological influences.
- Social influences.
- Environmental influences.
What does the behavioural model suggest?
Suggests that phobias are learnt through classical conditioning and maintained through operant conditioning.
What does the cognitive model emphasise?
Emphasises the influence of thought processes on how we feel and behave.
What do psychologists use the cognitive model to examine?
Psychologists use this model to examine distorted thinking processes involved in the development and maintenance of specific phobia and look at ways to change these thoughts.
What are the different methods of treating specific phobias proposed by the cognitive model.
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
- Graduated Exposure (Systematic desensitisation).
Explain what CBT does.
It uses a combination of verbal and behaviour modification techniques to help people change irrational patterns of thinking that create and maintain a phobia.
- It focuses on helping the person change negative automatic thoughts and replace them with more positive, realistic ones.
Outline what occurs in the proposed 'cycle' by CBT.
- Person is exposed to the object/situation (stimulus).
- Negative automatics thoughts lead to an emotional (distress) and biological response (fight-or-flight).
- Behaviour is than altered (person actively avoids object or situation).
Which theorist developed the method of graduated exposure?
Joseph Wolpe (1958).
What does graduated exposure aim to do?
Aims to 'extinguish' conditioned fears/phobias.
Explain graduated exposure.
Involves presenting successive approximations of the CS until the CS does not produce a CR.
- The person is gradually desensitised to the fear - or anxiety - producing object or event.
What are the three steps which a psychologist would implement in graduated exposure?
1. Relaxation techniques are taught.
2. Therapist helps the client make a hierarchy of anxiety/fear inducing stimuli.
3. Client works through the hierarchy until the phobia is overcome.
List some points to be considered about graduated exposure.
- More effective in treating specific phobia rather than social phobia or agoraphobia.
- Less effective in treating performance fears (Eg. Exam anxiety when a person hasn't studied).
- May not be effective in treating phobias that have an underlying survival element (Eg. Fear of spiders).
About bringing client into direct contact with the anxiety - or fear - inducing stimulus and keeping them in contact with it until the CR is extinguished.
List some facts about flooding.
- It is possible to increase rather than decrease the phobia.
- Has the greatest incidence of spontaneous recovery of all of the methods.
List some facts about the prevalence of disorders in the Australian population.
- Approximately 5% of the population has at least one disorder at any given time.
- Approximately 10% of the population will have a phobia in their lifetime.
- Phobias often begin in early childhood.
- Women are TWICE as likely to develop a phobia in their life.
What are the three possible environmental triggers of a phobia?
- Direct exposure to a distressing or traumatic event.
- Witnessing other people experiencing a traumatic event, such as seeing another person being mauled by a dog (Observational Learning).
- Reading or hearing about dangerous situations or events.
What did Albert Bandura suggest about specific phobias?
Suggested that specific phobias can be learnt vicariously by observing other people's phobic behaviour (parental modelling).
What can parental modelling lead to?
Can lead to the transmission of threat information which is incorporated into long-term memory.
Children who are exposed to parents with phobic responses are more likely to develop comparable fears to similar stimuli.