Two-process model (Good explanatory power (Important implications for…
Good explanatory power
Went beyond Watson's simple classical conditioning explanation of phobias
Important implications for therapies
Patient prevented from practicing avoidance behaviour - phobic behaviour declines.
Application to therapy is strength.
Alternative explanations for avoidance behaviour
More complex behaviour (e.g. agoraphobia), evidence that some avoidance behaviour is motivated by positive feelings of safety
Explains why agoraphobics can leave house with trusted friend with low anxiety but not alone.
Problem for two-process model - suggests avoidance motivated by anxiety reduction.
Incomplete explanation of phobias
Accept classical and operant conditioning as acquiring and maintaining phobias - other aspects of phobia behaviour require further explaining.
Easily acquire phobias of things that were danger in evolutionary past
Biological preparedness - innately prepared to fear some things more than others
Problem for two-process model - more to acquiring phobias than simple conditioning.
Not all bad experiences lead to phobias
Phobias can appear following a bad experience, seen to be result of conditioning.
Sometimes people have bad experience e.g. bitten by dog and don't develop a phobia.
Suggests conditioning alone can't explain phobias.
May only develop where vulnerability exists.
Doesn't properly consider cognitive aspects of phobias
Behavioural explanations generally orientated to explaining behaviour rather than cognition
Reason two-process model explains maintenance of phobias in terms of avoidance
Phobias also have cognitive element.
Two-process model doesn't properly address cognitive elements of phobias.