Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Lecture 1: The acquisition of phobias C83MLP Mechanisms of Learning and Psychopathology Dr. Mark Haselgrove.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Lecture 1: The acquisition of phobias C83MLP Mechanisms of Learning and Psychopathology Dr. Mark Haselgrove."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lecture 1: The acquisition of phobias C83MLP Mechanisms of Learning and Psychopathology Dr. Mark Haselgrove

2 Content of Lecture (2) Reminder of Conditioning terminology/procedures (3) The acquisition of Phobias (1) Introduction and Overview of module What is a phobia? What causes a phobia? - Traditional Conditioning account - Rachmans challenge - Contemporary learning theory view Retrospective studies of Phobia acquisition How do we treat them

3 RoleStaff MemberRoom Module Convenor Dr Mark Haselgrove Psychology Teaching Staff Dr Jasper Robinson Psychology Teaching Staff Dr Charlotte Bonardi Psychology Teaching Staff Dr Tobias Bast Psychology C83MLP Introduction and Overview

4 Syllabus Plus Timetable Week Teaching Week Week CommencingComments Lecture/Seminar dateTeacherLecture/seminar 1124/09/2012 Autumn teaching START 27/09/12N/ANo Lecture 2201/10/2012Autumn Semester03/10/2012MHLecture: Introduction & Phobias 3308/10/2012Autumn Semester10/10/2012MHLecture: Conditioning and Cancer 4415/10/2012Autumn Semester17/10/2012CBLecture: Time & Causality 5522/10/2012Autumn Semester24/10/2012CBLecture: Learning to tell things apart 6629/10/2012Autumn Semester31/10/2012(1) MH/(2)CBSeminars: (1) Exam Answers on Phobias (2) Topic by request 7705/11/2012Autumn Semester07/11/2012JRLecture: Higher order learning /11/2012Autumn Semester14/11/2012JRLecture: Higher order learning /11/2012Autumn Semester21/11/2012(1) CB/ (2) JR Seminars: (1) Topic by request (2) Revision on 2nd order conditioning 10 26/11/2012Autumn Semester28/11/2012TBLecture: Memory & hippocampus /12/2012Autumn Semester05/12/2012TBLecture: Memory & hippocampus /12/2012 term finishes Friday 14 Dec12/12/2012TBSeminar: Revision questions and Q&A on hippocampus 13Vacation17/12/2012Christmas 14Vacation24/12/2012Christmas 15Vacation31/12/2012Christmas 16Vacation07/01/2013Christmas 17Assessment14/01/2013Assessment 18Assessment21/01/2013Assessment Autumn Term

5 C83MLP Introduction and Overview Spring Term 19128/01/2013Spring Semester30/01/2013MHLecture: Depressive realism 20204/02/2013Spring Semester06/02/2013CBLecture: Contextual control of learning /02/2013Spring Semester13/02/2013JRLecture: Neural substrates of attention 22418/02/2013Spring Semester20/02/2013(1) JR/(2) MH Seminars: (1) Simulating configural learning with RW model (2) Revision of depresive realism & ITI hypothesis 23525/02/2013Spring Semester27/02/2013CBLecture: Learning about complex representations 24604/03/2013Spring Semester06/03/2013(1) CB/ (2) MHSeminars: (1) Topic by request (2) Dissertation Meeting 25711/03/2013Spring Semester13/03/2013MHAdmin Lecture: Dissertation Groups 26818/03/2013Spring Semester20/03/2013MH/TB/CB/JRDissertation tutorial - Student presentations/ Discussions 27Vacation25/03/2013Easter 28Vacation01/04/2013Easter 29Vacation08/04/2013Easter 30Vacation15/04/2013Easter 31922/04/2013Spring Semester24/04/2013MH/TB/CB/JRDissertation tutorial - Student presentations/ Discussions /04/2013Spring Semester01/05/2013MH/TB/CB/JRDissertation tutorial - Student presentations/ Discussions /05/2013 (Monday this week is May Bank Holiday)08/05/2013JRSeminars: Exam Essay Plans - Sticky board session /05/2013Revision/AssessmentN/ANo Lecture 35Assessment20/05/2013Assessment 36Assessment27/05/2013Assessment 37Assessment03/06/2013Assessment 38-10/06/ /06/2013 term finishes Friday 21 June HAND IN DISSERTATIONS BY Tuesday 7th MAY 2013

6 Brilliant reading Out Now! Chapters relevant to lectures on: Phobias ANV Depressive realism Also chapters on: Schizophrenia Drug addiction Relapse Potential use for C83CLI??

7 A reminder of some terminology and facts… Unconditioned Stimulus (US): Biologically significant event (e.g. food, pain) Unconditioned Response (UR): The response evoked by the US Conditioned stimulus (CS): Previously neutral stimulus (e.g. tone) that acquires a response by being paired with a US Conditioned response (CR): The response evoked by the CS Shock (US) (UR) Clicker Jumping (CS) (CR) Conditioning and Learning

8 What is a phobia? Irrational fear of an objectively harmless stimulus Fear Reality of Danger A B A: Accountant at work B: Oil rig worker in North sea C D C: Bomb disposal worker D: Phobia!

9 What is a phobia? DSM-IV categories: Agoraphobia - Public places outside home, e.g. shops trains Social Phobia - Being watched/appraised by other people Specific Phobia -Grouped into: - Animals and insects - Blood/injury/medical (e.g. dentist) - Situational (e.g. driving, crowds, enclosure, air travel) - Natural Environment (e.g. heights, water)

10 What causes a phobia? Associative learning (Conditioning) account: Acquired through experience of phobic stimulus (CS) being paired with a really frightening or painful event (traumatic US) e.g. Dental phobia Street....Waiting room….Dentists chair….sight of drill/needle PAIN Potential phobic stimuli CS (First order) Aversive US Higher-order CSs Dentists waiting room (e.g.) associated with aversive US (pain) - thus evokes anxiety/avoidance

11 How do we treat it? e.g. Dental phobia Street....Waiting room….Dentists chair….sight of drill/needle PAIN Potential phobic stimuli e.g. Systematic desensitization (1)Teach relaxation techniques (e.g. slow breathing) (2)Establish hierarchy of fear (low-high) (3)Work up hierarchy, pairing each level with relaxation Monitor success with fear ratings Relaxation

12 What causes a phobia? Rachman (1990) – Need to revise conditioning model (1)Phobics cant always recall an experience where phobic stimulus paired with traumatic event (2) People who experience Stimulus Trauma dont always go on to develop a phobia of that stimulus (3) Incidence of phobias likelihood of experiencing Stimulus Trauma (4) People can have phobias of things never experienced (e.g. snake phobia in town dwellers) Rachman proposed 3 pathways to fear… (1)Conditioning (as on previous slide) (2)Vicarious (observing another person expressing fear of a stimulus) (3)Information/Instruction (stories/warnings) N.B. All pathways propose an associative experience, But not necessarily real stimulus or real trauma

13 What causes a phobia? Contemporary learning theory can address some of Rachmans problems… (i) Prevention of associative learning (Davey, 1989) Despite CS-US pairings, associative learning may not take place… (A) Latent inhibition (B) Overshadowing, Blocking Discussion point: What are these?

14 What causes a phobia? (ii) Experience after original associative learning (Davey et al. 1993) Associative learning will only give rise to a fear CR, if the US is evaluated as aversive Evaluation of US can or and alter the CR e.g. Dentists waiting room Drill (not painful) Association formed, but drill is not aversive, thus no fear of waiting room. - Later a friend reports traumatic experience with drill…person evaluates drill as aversive….waiting room evokes fear Contemporary learning theory can address some of Rachmans problems…

15 What causes a phobia? (iii) Selective associations Some CS-US associations are predisposed to be learned, others not. Biases present in people, monkeys and rats e.g. Cook & Mineka (1990) – Monkeys readily associate sight of snake, but not flowers, with fear in another monkey. e.g. Garcia & Koelling (1966) - Flavour Illness Light Shock Flavour Shock Light Illness Easy to Learn Hard to Learn Might explain why some phobias are very common, despite few opportunities to learn Contemporary learning theory can address some of Rachmans problems…

16 What causes a phobia? (iv) S-R associations - Phobic stimulus may not be associated with a painful/aversive US (S-S learning) - But with fear of threat (S-R learning) Contemporary learning theory can address some of Rachmans problems… e.g. Dentists waiting room Drill (not painful) Belief that drill will cause pain (Anxiety) S-S S-R Some phobic learning (e.g. agoraphobia) may result from false alarm experiences - including panic attacks rather than true harm/danger.

17 What causes a phobia? All foregoing accounts imply some form of associative experience is important for acquisition of phobia (not necessarily 1 st order conditioning though) Menzies & Clarke (1995) – Suggest experience is not necessary for phobia - Many fears develop without learning (fear of heights, water, strangers) - Selective associations taken as evidence for this (unlearned tendency for fear …… not for prepared learning) - Learning is important for loss of fear not acquisition Merckelbach, de Jong et al (1996) – Disagree. Evidence for learning origin is convincing. So, we need research on what experiences people with phobias have had (and ask whether these are different from experiences of non-phobics)….

18 Retrospective studies Best if research could be Prospective (i.e. look at what happened before phobia) -Nearly all research retrospective – Done with people who already have phobia -Reports of experience potentially inaccurate/distorted Öst (1991) – review of retrospective studies in clinical phobics Used Öst/Hugdah POQ – Phobic Origins Questionnaire 9 Questions (Did you have this type of experience - Yes/No Answers) Conditioning (2 qs) Experienced phobic stim +real aversive event Vicarious(4 qs) Observed other person showing fear of aversive event Instruction(3 qs) Given information that phobic stimulus is harmful Focused on how people believe phobia started – responses classified in above types (or no recall of experience) 80%-90% of people came into one of the categories (conditioning most common) e.g. animal phobia - 48%, social phobia - 51%, agoraphobia - 81%

19 Retrospective studies McNally & Steketee (1985) 22 severe animal phobics (incl. 10 snake phobics) Structured interview focussing on experiences round the start of phobia - 15 (68%) could provide no information re onset of phobia - of 7 who could recall, 5 reported conditioning-like experiences Also asked what they feared would happen if did encounter phobic animal.. 41% - feared harm from animal 91% feared panic or similar (c.f. S-R model) Results linked to concept of anxiety sensitivity, common in many anxiety disorders. Afraid of being afraid….

20 Retrospective studies Himle et al (1991) reviewed case records of 89 simple phobics. 4 phobia subtypes: animal/insectblood/injurysituationalchoking/vomit Raters classified onset events into 5 types. 96% agreement between independent raters. Only 5/89 could not be classified 1.Realistic, e.g. attack or bite by animal; car crash (S-S) 2.Spontaneous, e.g. uncued anxiety attack while driving (S-R?) 3.Vicarious/observational learning, e.g. fearful parent 4.Gradual onset, no identifiable event 5.Lifelong fear, can never remember not having it. PhobiaRealisticSpontaneousVicariousGradualLifelong Animal (n=22) Situational (n=37) Blood/Injury (n=10) Choke/Vomit (n =9) Mode of Onset (%)

21 Retrospective studies None of the previous studies showed experience is critical for phobia acquisition - no non-phobic controls. Need to show experiences of 2 groups are different. Doogan & Thomas (1992) – Fear of dogs in adults and children Follow-up of study by DiNardo et al (1988), who found no diffs in frequency of aversive (S-S or S-R) experiences in high and low dog fearers. D &T replicated and looked a children to get around Memory problem 100 students & 30 children (8-9 yr olds) classified as high or low on fear of dogs (self report). 9 children dropped because of inconsistent responses Asked by questionnaire/interview if they had had any of the following experiences:

22 Retrospective studies Doogan & Thomas (1992) continued… Bitten by dog at least once Frightened by dog at least once At least 1 frightening or painful encounter with a dog of these, % who had no direct contact with dogs prior to 1 st frightening/painful encounter Mother dislikes dogs Observed fear in others Distressed by reports of dog attacks Warned about dogs as a child High fear Adults Low fear Adults High fear Kids Low fear Kids * 65 31* * * * 20* * = sig diff between high/low group Discussion points: Evidence for S-R learning? Why are data in red interesting? % saying yes

23 Further reading…

Download ppt "Lecture 1: The acquisition of phobias C83MLP Mechanisms of Learning and Psychopathology Dr. Mark Haselgrove."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google