• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the extent to which behavioural therapies may be considered effective in the treatment of abnormal behaviour.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

SAMPLE ESSAY ON BEHAVIOUR THERAPIES Discuss the extent to which behavioural therapies may be considered effective in the treatment of abnormal behaviour. The basic assumption of behavioural therapies is that all behaviour is learned & can be unlearned. Maladaptive behaviours are the same as any others. Behaviour is learned through classical conditioning, where a reflex response comes to be associated with a neutral stimulus so that a new stimulus-response link is formed. An example of this can be seen in the case of Little Albert, studied by Watson & Rayner. Albert was shown a white rat and had no fear. Then on several occasions when he was shown the rat he was also exposed to a loud noise which would create an innate fear response. After a number of trials, the sight of the rat alone made Albert jump & this generalised to other white furry things, such as Watson's beard. ...read more.

Middle

Then the patient is asked to imagine the least fearful thing while relaxing at the same time. It is not possible to experience 2 conflicting emotions simultaneously, so eventually the fear is replaced by relaxation & this conditioned response is paired with the feared stimulus. Then the patient imagines the next most fearful thing in the hierarchy and so on, until the fear is gone. If at any time the patient feels anxious. He/she is reminded to stop & regain composure & relax. It is possible that SD works for reasons other than unlearning. For example, it can be explained in terms of cognitive restructuring, i.e. patients do not form new associations but change the way they think about the feared object. Any reference to thinking is beyond behaviourism. However, cognitive-behavioural therapy is a more recent development of behaviour therapy which combines elements of both. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is possible to explain the success of token economies in ways other than through conditioning theory. It could be that the system allows for more careful structuring of the therapeutic situation & this leads to improvements. Recovery may also be due to a general increase in attention or even more emotional care from nursing staff. The therapy raises ethical concerns because behaviour manipulation is involved. Someone has to decide what constitutes a desirable behaviour (the one to be acquired) & what is undesirable. There are general issues relating to evaluating a therapy, such as what constitutes a cure. Just removing certain symptoms, which is the goal of behaviour therapies, does not mean that a problem is solved. It may well be that an underlying problem remains & will soon be expressed through other symptoms. Behaviourists assume that there are no underlying behaviours that need concern us; there are only symptoms. If they are removed, the patient is cured. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Developmental Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Developmental Psychology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Contrast Principles of Classical and Operant Conditioning

    3 star(s)

    It has been found to be very effective as in 1960 Wolpe forced an adolescent girl with the fear of cars into the back of a car and drove her around continuously for four hours until her fear completely disappeared and in a review of both implosion therapy and flooding Emmelhamp and Wessels (1975)

  2. Free essay

    Unmasking Anxiety with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

    They pointed out the Exchequer's (national treasury) expense of 750 pounds a month that an individual collects in capacity benefits due to mental illness such as depression or anxiety (Laynard). If sufferers of anxiety and depression were treated for their illness, they would take fewer sick days.

  1. Describe ways in which behavioural learning theory has been used to eliminate snake phobias, ...

    He concluded that as this connection is learnt, the conditioned stimulus is at some point a neutral stimulus, thus any required response can be elicited from any stimulus. Pavlov (1927) carried out research based on a dog's salivary reaction in connection to food.

  2. Is Popular culture an Influence on Violent Behaviour?

    so small as to be hardly measurable may have far reaching and tremendous consequences.'1 It is evident that a small shift in propensity, for example the advent of war, could have a 1% increase on the population on the curve of distribution.

  1. Task1 Counselling 1aPhysical signs and symptoms of stress

    P18 Albert Bandura - social learning theory, would suggest that the triplets crime and disorder was a learned behaviour. They may have learnt criminal behaviour through the groups which they associate with. If the triplets associate with more groups that define criminal behaviour as acceptance , rather than groups that

  2. Research was carried out to investigate the effect of the direction of incident light ...

    * The only other problem I had was the effect of chemical traces made by the pencil to track the maggot's movement. This time I have decided to use a piece of OHP paper over a plastic box this way the light will still be able to get through the

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work