psych lab 2 UPLOAD

psych lab 2 UPLOAD - The Effect of Systematic...

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The Effect of Systematic Desensitization on Ichthyophobia University of Richmond Tuesday 7:00 The Effect of Systematic Desensitization on Ichthyophobia
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Ichthyophobia is a disorder attributed to patients that experience extremely high levels of anxiety when dealing with fish. Phobias such as Ichthyophobia cause so much anxiety to the patient that they usually affect everyday life. Thankfully, there are some treatment methods for Ichthyophobic patients. The current treatment is known as systematic desensitization, and involves a seven-step hierarchy that slowly eases or “de- sensitizes” the patient when in contact with the source of the phobia. Rothbaum (1995) hypothesized that virtual reality desensitization practices would aid Acrophobic patients in reducing their levels of anxiety of heights. By slowly desensitizing the experimental group of Acrophobic students through varying levels of stressful virtual situations involving heights (balcony, bridge, glass elevator), a significant decrease in anxiety was reported (Rothbaum, 1995). This experiment supports the idea that phobias are treatable through desensitization. Rothbaum’s (1995) study provides favorable evidence that phobias can be treated via systematic desensitization. The current study focuses on Ichthyophobic patients, and utilizes a methodology similar to that of the Rothbaum Study (1995). Instead of virtual reality, several increasingly challenging real life steps will be administered to the experimental group. Based on the Rothbaum (1995) study, it is hypothesized that participants in the experimental systematic desensitization group will experience decreased anxiety upon termination of the desensitization process, as measured by a SUDS rating.
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