Chemical explanations suggest that phobias are caused by hormonal changes. These explanations suggest that some individuals Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) jumps more quickly than others. So these individuals are more likely to develop phobias than the ones that don’t jumpy easily. Behaviorism is another theory which could be used to explain phobias. This can also be linked with social learning theory because behaviorists also say that phobias can be learned. They say that phobias can occur with classical conditioning. As fear is a conditioned response to a conditioned stimulus, previous occasion would have been paired with an unconditional stimulus. When the individual thinks about avoiding the phobic situation/object, they feel comfortable and reassured. This explains why classical conditioning and avoidance of the feared situation/object makes the phobia worse. Phobias can occur due to many causes such as genetics or childhood experiences; however classical conditioning is an important part of either causing/reinforcing the specific phobias. Throughout conditioning individual repeatedly associate the feared situation/object with their anxiety and discomfort. By doing this they are strengthening the fear and making it into a phobia. Therefore these phobias can be issues of everyday, making the individual consume time for their phobia. According to ilkley.school-site2 “A person learns to associate a phobic object with fear (Classical conditioning) – This is illustrated by Watson and Raynor in the account of Little Albert” This is an experiment carried out to explain Little Albert’s phobia of white rats. He learned to associate a loud noise with white rats, making him unconditionally afraid of the noise and conditionally afraid of the white rat. According to Orval Hobart Mowrer’s two process theory, “a fear is learnt through classical conditioning. A fear is negatively reinforced (operant conditioning). Avoidance is negatively reinforced because it means that the unpleasant stimulus is not encountered”. This shows that behaviorist theory can be used to explain phobias that occur in an individual. If Little Albert avoided his phobic object then the phobia would have got worse. This paragraph was used from
Social cognitive theory is when an individual learns through not only from their past experiences, but also by observing others. Whether or not, the individual repeats the learnt behavior, depends on other factors, which also influences them. This theory helps to treat phobias. A common technique used to treat individuals is when the therapist models a new behavior and then asks the individual to perform this after.
However when an individual is exposed to their fear or feared situation, biological changes occur on the body of the individual. When the individual is faced to their phobia, a change occurs in the brain activity and certain hormones are released. Physical arousal symptoms increase such as increased heart rate and blood pressure. Neurotransmitters release chemicals that allow nerve cells to communicate to the brain. Researchers have found that too much or too little of these chemicals can cause anxiety and depression. Serotonin is one of the chemicals which can cause phobias if there are regulation problems. This is the chemical that can cause anxiety and depression if they are too high or low.
There can be many factors of an individual’s life that can cause them to develop phobias. These can be genetics. Some phobias can run in the family for e.g. if identical twins are separated from each other, there are chances that they can develop the same phobias. According to Mental Health Research, twin studies showed that when one twin has agoraphobia, the second twin has a 39% chance of developing the same phobia. This shows that biological explanations can be true when explaining about phobias.
For P5, I will be giving examples of treatments that can be used to treat phobias. There are many types of treatments that are used to treat phobias and fears. However the main treatment that is used to cure phobias is cognitive-behavioral therapy known as systematic desensitization or exposure therapy. This treatment can have very effective results. Researches shows that approximately 75% individual overcome their phobias with this treatment. This shows that this therapy is quite effective. The last four paragraphs was used from
Exposure therapy is when the individual is exposed slowly to the phobic object. The individual is exposed slowly, safely, controllably, step by step. The commonly used exposure method is when the individual is gradually coming across, first imagination then reality. For e.g. if an individual has a phobia of dentists, they would firstly be exposed to the word “dentist” to see how they react. Once they overcome this they will then be taken to the dentist surgery in real life, then talking to the doctor, sitting on the dentist chair etc. Slowly the individual will overcome the fear of dentists. This paragraph was used from and
Systematic desensitization therapy is when the individual is exposed to events which cause them to be anxiety and then a relaxation technique is used to calm the individual. This therapy could also be known as “flooding” where the individual is flooded with their worst fear and then this eventually lowers their anxiety level. For e.g. for individual who are scared of dentists, their first step may be showing the word “DENTIST”. This may raise the anxiety level of the individual from reading the word; however this anxiety level is not going to stay high for long, so it will eventually come down and the individual will finally be used to seeing the word.
Some individuals may not be able to handle flooding, so they may have to use an alternative classical conditioning technique known as counter-conditioning. In this, the individual is trained to substitute a relaxation response for their fear response when being in presence with their phobic object. This is also similar to the systematic desensitization. This involves three steps which are training the individual to relax physically, start an anxiety hierarchy of the stimuli involved and counter-conditioning relaxation as a response. The last two paragraphs were used from and
The strengths and weaknesses of the perspectives are that biological, looks are more of the genetic side, but if any individual has a phobia, its not a fact that their family members has it too. This is not very reliable because phobias do not occur within a day, it develops. However the strength of biological is that
For the merit part, I will analyze and explain which perspective and treatments are best fro phobias. If the behavior is explained through biological perspectives, as treatment doctors and GPs allows the individual to understand that this disorder has occurred genetically and not environmentally. So, health care professionals who are trying to help the individual may give medication to help control the disorder. However if the behavior is explained through social learning theory, the treatment for this would be to teach the individual a new appropriate behavior and make them understand the importance of following this behavior. If the individual is put among a group who hasn’t got the phobia, there are more chances of the individual overcoming their phobia. However the best psychological perspective that explains phobias better is the behaviorism theory because phobias makes individual perform abnormally towards the object/situation. In order for them to behave in such way, they must have had an unconditional response along with their conditioned response. As a result they are being punished when faced with their phobic object/situation, so they try to avoid this situation. The best treatment for phobias is cognitive behavioral therapy because the individual is spoken to about their phobia. This would eventually help the individual to realize their behavior and then change it. The last paragraph was used from ,
This is my next specific behavior which I will use three psychological perspectives to explain. Anorexia is one of the main eating disorder which occurs mainly in girls or women, who are terrified of gaining weight (can also occur in boys or men. Every individual would like to stay slim and fit, but some individual go to the extreme if they cannot obtain what they want. This can lead onto such eating disorders. Another example of an eating disorder is Bulimia Nervosa.
This disorder usually starts at a young stage as teenage. Statistics show that “1 in 100 women aged between 15 and 30, suffers from anorexia”. This shows that this eating disorder is not very common in the UK. Another research shows that “It is estimated that 200,000 to 300,000 Canadian women aged 13 to 40 have anorexia nervosa and twice as many have bulimia” this shows that it is quite high in other countries.
The symptoms of this disorder are cessation of periods or delayed developments in puberty, low food intake, excessive exercise, lose interest in socializing with friends. Other physical symptoms could be tiredness, feeling cold, constipation, stomach aches
This disorder begins to be characterized when the individual’s body weight and height is below 15%.
The causes of this disorder are most likely to be inheritance from biological factors or individual’s social environment. This is most common in the western world, among women with specific professions, such as modeling, ballet dancing etc. Puberty, death of family members, and other stressful live events are also seen as causes to trigger anorexia in individuals. Nowadays most of the normal women/girls aim to be like celebrities from media. Peers can also influence individuals (women/girls) in many ways partly because of media. In the peer member are not slim or skinny, they tend to be pressured by their peer groups. Peers can give out nasty comments, basing on the individual’s physical state, making them start a diet or being too much conscious about their weight. Depression and psychosis can also cause eating disorders.
The chances of anorexia nervosa recovering depend on how recent the disorder started. If the disorder has occurred recently then this couldn’t have done a lot of damage to the individual physically, mentally and emotionally and would be easier to treat. However if it had started very long ago, it may be hard to get the individual back to normal physically, mentally and emotionally. The last five paragraphs were used from
There are many psychological perspectives that I can use to explain anorexia nervosa, but I will be using only three. These are biological, behavioral and social learning theory. Within biological perspectives an individual can get influenced genetic factors, hormonal factors and personality types. Some researchers have found that there are connections between genetics and eating too much or not enough serotonin receptors in the brain. These receptors are the reason why individuals signal hunger and fullness. This is thought to affect these eating disorders because if these serotonin levels are low then the individual gets less hungry, if they are more, then they will get hungrier. Some researchers found that individuals, who have family members with eating disorders, have higher incidents of eating disorders. This does not mean that eating disorders are truly genetic, but needs further investigation into more of the genetic side. According to Pearson, “The risk of anorexia nervosa is greater for those who have a history of the disorder in their families” This shows that there are biological causes for eating disorders. Twins also are evidence to have genetic influence “Holland et al (1984) discovered a concordance rate of 55% for identical twins (MZs) reared together (100% of genes shared) but only 7% concordance between non-identical twins (DZs share 50% of genes). On the other hand, shared environment influences may be more on MZs rather than DZs. As there is no 100% concordance rate for MZs, so they can be affected by other factors unlike genetic. This shows that, if one mono zygotic twin had an eating disorder, then there is more chance of the other mono zygotic twin to suffer from it too.
Hormones are also seen as a biological cause of eating disorders. Researches show that disturbances to the hypothalamus and anterior pituitary gland can have connections with anorexia. The hypothalamus controls hunger and thirst. The chemical known as ghrelin is produced in the stomach. The hormonal levels of ghrelin are shown to be increase before meals and decrease after. So the hypothalamus has receptors for this chemical, and can affect hunger if these receptor levels are low. So hormones can also affect the causes of eating disorders. This hasn’t yet made official that it affect eating disorder, but there are chance for it affecting the individuals. Most of the studies report that menstrual cycle in disturbed in anorexics. Personality type factor does not show as it links with the development of eating disorders. However some personal types such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and sensitive avoidant personalities are more at risk to eating disorders than other types. Further researches are carried out to make clear whether eating disorders such as anorexia are influenced by biological factors. The last to paragraphs were used from
I will be now explaining anorexia from behavioral perspectives. As anorexia nervosa is a behavior that it learnt, this can link with classical conditioning. Classical conditioning is when as individuals associate certain things with other things for e.g. the amount a person likes someone depends on the positive relationship between the two people. If they have hatred between them, then the individual may associate the other with arguments and negative comments, however if the individuals are very friendly between them, they may associate the other with friendship talks etc. Individuals may develop fears alongside with another event, which could be bad or good depending on how this affected the individual’s behavior. So linking this to anorexia, the individual may think that if they go on a diet, their result will be what they expect (slim body). As the individual went on a diet because she wanted to lose weight, but getting this positive result, she may continue going on a diet making her think she will lose more weight and look physically good. So therefore this links with classical conditioning. By linking this to operant conditioning, the individual is reinforcing themselves because they are getting the result they are expecting. Other reinforcements such as good comments from other people regarding their weight can also reinforce them and encourage the behavior. If an individual witnesses another individual getting punished for a certain behavior, then it’s unlikely the both individuals repeat the behavior. As the individual is continuing the behavior because they are getting reinforcement, they will eventually come to a state known as anorexia.
I will be now explaining anorexia from social learning theory perspectives. As social learning theory is where, an individual learns behaviors from their social interaction groups. For e.g. if an individual from a group has a tendency to wipe their hands on the wall after opening the toilet door then, there are more chances that other member in that group may observe and perform the behavior. Individuals in a group may see other members as role models, making them repeat their behavior. So linking this theory to anorexia, all individual mainly girls may see celebrities as their role models. From their point of view, celebrities are slim, pretty and easy to get a boyfriend/girlfriend. This makes the individual want to be like them, making them go on a diet for too long resulting with anorexia. Therefore the individual is learning a behavior socially. The last two paragraphs were used from previous knowledge of psychology.
For the p5 and m2, I will be talking about the treatments and analyzing which treatments and perspective is better for the specific behavior. There are many treatments that can be used to treat anorexia. These can be medical, nutritional and counseling and therapy treatments. Medical treatments may be used if the disorder is seen to be affected the individual biologically. If it is then medication may be given for the individual to help them get back to a normal stage. Hospitalization may be required for the individual, so they can be kept an eye on, till they come back to a normal weight. If the behavior is explained using behavior perspectives, the best treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy. This is very effective because it deals with individuals issues straight away by making them think from a normal point of view. If the behavior is explained using social learning theory, the treatment would be that making the individual realize that they can stay slim and fit by eating good foods. This thinking will enable the individual to change their behavior, still stay slim and fit but by following the good diet the individual will understand that the they can stay slim and eat healthy.
Nutritional treatment involves the individual being hospitalized and the hospital will provide with healthy foods. This way the only food the individual is getting is the healthy food, so therefore they have to eat it. However the best treatment that is used to explain anorexia is the social learning theory because most eating disorder occurs due to observing role models and the individual will follow their path. Most of the individuals are retaining the behavior of a celebrities and famous people because everyone is trying to look attractive by looking physically attractive.
Analyzing the roles of each of the psychological perspectives understanding the specific behavior, I will be explaining why I say that the specific perspectives are better to understand my chosen behaviors. Phobia was explained using biological, behaviorism and social learning theory. The reason why I chose this was because I felt these three had more relation to phobias than others. Biological perspectives is when, as I said, the genes are responsible for the individual to have the phobia, but I believe this can party be wrong because if the individual was to be bought up in a different environment there are chances of the gene no playing its role. On the other hand social learning theory explanations are more related to phobias than the biological because, an individual can easily observe and learn a certain behavior for e.g. “person A” is friends with “person B” and, “A” does not like opening toilet doors with direct hand and this behavior can be passes on to “person B” because “person B” will be observing. Another way social learning can cause a phobia is by explaining to the individual, from a very small age, so when they grow up, even though they haven’t had a negative experience, they will have a fear for it. However Behaviorism perspectives explain phobias more than the other two because phobia can only occur of the individual has had a negative experience from the object/situation. For e.g. a 7 months old child may go near a snake, because it does not know the danger of it, but if the child got attacked by the snake, then it will have a phobia towards it. So behaviorism is the best perspectives to explain phobia because phobia is when an individual is behaving different due to the object/phobia.
Anorexia was explained by using the same psychological perspectives I used to explain phobias. Biological explain that anorexia occur due to genetics. However this is not very trustful because anorexia is a disorder than occur in an individual due to them wanting to be “skinny”. If this was genetic, the individual could eat a lot more to keep a normal weight, so this is not reliable. Behaviorism perspectives explanations are more related than biological because behavior is when the individual may have had a negative comment/experience from being fat/chubby/obese, making the individual go on a diet. This is s behavior that is associated with the negative experience, therefore linking with the behaviorism. However social learning theory is the best perspectives that explain anorexia, because it is more of a social behavior learnt and then goes out of control resulting in anorexia. This disorder is more likely to occur nowadays than olden days, because being slim used to be seen unattractive. So social learning is the best to explain anorexia because this is socially occurring disorder.
Here's what a teacher thought of this essay
This is an excellent essay that demonstrates the writer has done their research and applied it to two conditions. It was a pleasure to read it. There are a few areas that could be enhanced such as linking theories into the treatments but it is actually a very good essay as it is. *****