Essay on Psychological Explanations of One Anxiety Disorder

749 Words 3 Pages
Psychological Explanations of One Anxiety Disorder

Phobias are an example of an anxiety disorder and the psychological explanations of these are cognitive, psychodynamic, behavioral and social factors. The Behavioral, Psychodynamic and social factors of the psychological explanation will be discussed in greater detail.

Behavioral explanations say that all behaviour is learnt whether it is normal or abnormal and this approach has been applied to humans and animals. There are three theories that make up the behaviorist approach, which are classical and operant conditioning, Social Learning and information transmission. Classical conditioning is concerned with a classical, neutral and conditioned
…show more content…
For example if a child sees its mother reacting in a fearful way towards a spider they too will react in that particular way. Evidence for this comes from Bandura who observed the reactions of fake electrical shocks been given with a buzzer. Maneeka found that when mothers reacted to snakes in a bad way the child developed a phobia of snakes in later life. There are demand characteristics with this research, as the researchers will be expecting a particular outcome and the people may already have a fear of a particular object or situation. Also the outcomes cannot be applied to every phobia i.e. claustrophobia therefore it is limited. Information Transmission is the last theory for the psychological explanations of phobias. This is when fear producing information about the phobic object leads to the development of the particular phobia. Ost (1985) described the case of a woman who was a severe snake phobic. She had been told repeatedly about the dangers of snakes and had been strongly encouraged to wear rubber boots to protect herself. Consequently she wore the boots wherever she went. However Merckelbach (1996) argued on the basis of the evidence that claustrophobia or fear of enclosed spaces rarely occurs as a result of Information Transmission.

The Psychodynamic approach is based on the Id, Ego and Superego, the conflict between the Id and the Superego and also childhood
Open Document