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Lecture 6

PSYCH 127A Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Trichotillomania, Reinforcement, Diaphragmatic Breathing

Course Code
Repetti Rena

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Milwaukee Inventory for Styles of Trichotillomania (MIST) - self report survey
that assesses the extent to which one's hair pulling is focused vs automatic
Focused - intentional pulling, conscious awareness, response to
negative emotions as coping mechanism
Automatic pulling - unconscious, typically during sedentary activities
Teri showed automatic pulling indicating that developing awareness of
urges/behaviors would be beneficial
2. How was Teri’s hair pulling behavior being maintained through negative and
positive reinforcement?
Feel around for unusual hairs --> obsess about pulling them --> pulling led to
a pleasurable sense of relief
ComB model: classical conditioning causes certain environmental
settings/cues to serve as triggers for urges to pull
US: urge to pull
UR: pulling
Pairing of urges with specific contexts --> conditioned stimulus for
Operant conditioning: reinforcement
Negative reinforcement: removal of something unpleasant
Positive reinforcement: behavior results in pleasurable consequences
Teri's urges became associated with tension and anxiety
Negative reinforcement: Feeling of tension prior to pulling --> hair
pulling --> decreased sense of tension
Positive reinforcement: hair pulling --> pleasurable relief akin to "high"
HRT - involves awareness training and identifies CRs for use in situations
involving the problem behavior
Implement punishment to counter reinforcement effects of pulling
Cognitive elements addressed through monitoring and restructuring
3. What were the components of the initial stage of treatment?
Behavioral components
Strategies to reduce anxiety
Deep breathing, Jacobsonian Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR)
Awareness training
Self-monitor occurrences of hair pulling and log details
Date/time/antecedents/details of motor sequence/immediate
consequences of pulling
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