Fundamentals_of_Abnormal_Psychology_6e_Ch04

What causes phobias each of the models offers

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Unformatted text preview: into adulthood (APA, 2000). In several studies African and Asian American participants have scored higher than white Americans on surveys of social anxiety (Schultz et al., 2008, 2006; Okazaki et al., 2002, APA, 2000). In addition, a culture-bound disorder called taijn kyofusho seems to be particularly common in Asian countries such as Japan and Korea. Although this disorder is traditionally defined as a fear of making other people feel uncomfortable, a number of clinicians now suspect that its sufferers primarily fear being evaluated negatively by other people, a key feature of social phobias. What Causes Phobias? Each of the models offers explanations for phobias. Evidence tends to support the behavioral explanations. Behaviorists believe that people with phobias first learn to fear certain objects, situations, or events through conditioning (Wolfe, 2005). Once the fears are acquired, the individuals avoid the dreaded object or situation, permitting the fears to become all the more entrenched. table: 4-6 DSM Checklist SOCIAL PHOBIA 1. Marked and persistent fear of social or performance situations involving exposure to unfamiliar people or possible scrutiny by others, lasting at least six months. Concern about humiliating or embarrassing oneself. 2. Anxiety usually produced by exposure to the social situation. 3. Recognition that the fear is excessive or unreasonable. 4. Avoidance of feared situations. 5. Significant distress or impairment. Based on APA, 2000. ComFun6e_Ch04_C!.indd 108 Behavioral Explanations: How Are Fears Learned? Behaviorists propose classical conditioning as a common way of acquiring phobic reactions. Here, two events that occur close together in time become closely associated in a person’s mind, and, as you saw in Chapter 2, the person then reacts similarly to both of them. If one event triggers a fear response, the other may also. In the 1920s a clinician described the case of a young woman who apparently acquired a phobia of running water through classical conditioning (Bagby, 1922). When she was 7 years old she went on a picnic with her mother and aunt and ran off by herself into the woods after lunch. While she was climbing over some large rocks, her feet were caught between two of them. The harder she tried to free herself, the more trapped she became. No one heard her screams, and she grew more and more terrified. In the language of behaviorists, the entrapment was eliciting a fear response. Entrapment → Fear response As she struggled to free her feet, the girl heard a waterfall nearby. The sound of the running water became linked in her mind to her terrifying battle with the rocks, and she developed a fear of running water as well. Running water → Fear response Eventually the aunt found the screaming child, freed her from the rocks, and comforted her, but the psychological damage had been done. From that day forward, the 12/10/09 11:16:14 AM Anxiety Disorders :// 109 t able: 4 -7 Anxiety Disorders Profile Typical Age at Onset Prevalence among Close Relatives Per...
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This note was uploaded on 01/07/2013 for the course PSY 270 taught by Professor Hall during the Spring '05 term at University of Phoenix.

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