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PSYB32H3 (1,174)
Chapter 6

chapter 6

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Konstantine Zakzanis

Psychoanalyst focus on the content of the phobia and see the phobic object as a symbol of an important unconscious fear; content of phobia has important symbolic value Behaviourist ignore content of phobia and focus on function, for them the fears are equivalent in the means by which they are acquired and in how they might be reduced and so on Specific Phobias: unwarranted fears caused by the presence or anticipation of a specific object or situation DSM subdivides these phobias according to the course of the fear: blood, injuries and infection; situations; animals; and natural environment fears can be groups into one of the 5 factors: 1) agoraphobia 2) fear of heights or water 3) threat fears 4) fears of being observed 5) speaking fears o these fears are then classified under two higher order categories: specific fears and social fears lifetime prevalence of specific phobias that involves specific objects was estimated at 7% in men and 16% in women specific fear focused on in a phobia can vary cross-culturally o china: Pha-leng (fear of cold) related to yin and yang o Japanese syndrome: taijinkyofusho (fear of other people)- not a social phobia but an extreme fear of embarrassing others- encourages extreme concern for feelings of others yet discourage direct communication of feelings Social Phobias are persistent, irrational fears linked generally to the presence of other people Extremely debilitating Individual try to avoid particular situations in which they might be evaluated fearing that they will reveal signs of anxiousness or behave in an embarrassing way Speaking or performing in public, eating in public, using public lavatories and other activities carried out in the presence of others can elicit extreme anxiety They can be either generalized or specific, depending on the range of situations that are feared and avoided Generalized social phobias involve many different interpersonal situations; these people have an earlier age of onset, more comorbidity with other disorders such as depression and alcohol abuse and more severe impairment Specific social phobias involves intense fear often particular situation (e.g. public speaking) Social phobias are common with life time prevalence in NCR of 11% in men and 15% in women These phobias have high comorbidity rate with other disorders and often occur in conjunction with GAD, specific phobias, panic disorders, avoidant personality disorder and mood disorders Onset generally takes place during adolescence when social awareness and interactions with others become more important in a persons life Students with it have lower self-esteem and distorted body image relative to students who are not phobic Social phobias are associated with marked dissatisfaction and low functioning in terms of quality of life and it was actually linked with dropping out of school Predictors of recovery include being employed, no lifetime depression, fewer than three lifetime psychiatric disorders, less psychopathology, less anxiety sensitivity, fewer daily hassles and better mental health ETIOLOGY OF PHOBIAS www.notesolution.comPsychoanalytic theories: According to Freud, phobias are defence against the anxiety produced by repressed id impulses; this anxiety is displaced from the feared id impulse and moved to an object or situation that has some symbolic connection to it; these objects or situations become the phobic stimuli and by avoiding them the person is able to avoid dealing with repressed conflicts Phobias are the egos way of warding off a confrontation with the real problem, a repressed childhood conflict Example: lil Hans had not successfully resolved the Oedipal conflict therefore his intense fear so his father was displaced on horses and he became phobic about leaving his home Arieti proposed that repression stems from a particular interpersonal problem of childhood rather than from an id impulse Behavioural Theories: Focus on learning as the way in which phobias are acquired Avoidance conditioning: phobic reactions are learned avoidance responses o Avoidance-conditioning formulation is based on two factor theory proposed by Mowrer, hold that phobias develop from two related sets of learning Via classical conditioning- person can learn to fear a neutral stimulus (CS) if it is paired with an intrinsically painful or frightening event (UCS) The person can learn to reduce this conditioned fear by escaping from or avoiding the CSoperant conditioning (response maintained by its reinforcing consequence of reducing fear) Evidence demonstrates that only the possibility that some fears may be acquired in this particular way Pavlovian conditioning and observational learning via imitation can both play a role; by using masked stimuli that observing another persons fear response and not having explicit, conscious awareness of this conditioned stimulus can still contribute to apparent learning of a fear response Fear is extinguished rather quickly when CS presented a few times without the reinforcement of moderate levels of shock A phobia of a specific object or situation has sometimes been reported after a particularly painful experience with that object Some clinical reports suggest that phobias may develop without a prior frightening experience o Modelling can help solve avoidance-conditioning model Some phobias can be acquired by modelling, not thru an unpleasant experience with the object or situation that is feared modeling is learning fear by imitating reactions of others Vicarious learning is the learning of fear by observing others; it can be accomplished thru verbal instructions Anxious-rearing model is based on premise that anxiety disorders in children are due to constant parental warnings that increase anxiety in the child o Prepared Learning: certain neutral stimulus called prepared stimuli, are more likely than others to become classically conditioned stimuli may account for this tendency www.notesolution.com
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