Systematic desensitisation as it is used in the treatment of specific phobias. Chapter 13 also discusses graduated exposure specifically in relation to phobias on page 662.
An anxiety-producing situation such as using a lift could be broken down into a sequence of steps that could include: standing and looking at lifts (watching them come and go) standing in a stationary lift for increasing periods of time with a support person standing in a stationary lift alone for increasing periods of time travelling up or down one floor with a support person then gradually extending the number of floors travelled, first with a support person, then alone with the support person waiting outside the lift, and finally travelling on a lift alone without a support person nearby. The person would be using their relaxation strategies at every step of the hierarchy and progression would not be made to the next step until the person successfully manages the previous step.
Aversive stimuli could take the form of: electric shocks foul odours nasty tastes loud noises pain nausea-inducing drugs The idea is that alcohol, which was originally neutral with respect to nausea, becomes the conditioned stimulus.
NOTE: There are clips on YouTube showing Alex de Large receiving aversion therapy (the ‘Ludovico technique’) however these are NOT appropriate to show in class, as one of the graphically violent films he has to watch includes a short gang rape scene. It would be OK however to show a still image of him with the apparatus which clamps his eyes open (this can be accessed via Google images). This could lead into a discussion about the ethics of aversion therapy as a treatment, as the apparatus used to clamp his eyes open is quite gruesome.
The person with a fear of heights would be taken to the very top of the Rialto Towers and made to stand near the highest window and look down. The person would be made to stand there until their anxiety completely subsides:(this could take a few hours and the person would be extremely distressed. It is expected that they would at first experience very intense and high levels of anxiety but that over time their anxiety levels would gradually diminish.
Lesson 7 applications of classical conditioning
VCE Psychology Units 3 & 4Lesson 7: Applications of classical conditioning
From last lesson………….Outline the following for Pavlov’s experiments•Unconditioned Stimulus -•Unconditioned Response -•Conditioned Stimulus -•Conditioned Response -•Neutral stimulus -
What is classical conditioning?Classical conditioning Who first described classicalrefers to a type of conditioning while conductinglearning that occurs through research into the digestivethe repeated association of system of dogs?two (or more) differentstimuli.Learning is only said tohave occurred when aparticular stimulusconsistently produces aresponse that it did notpreviously produce.
Applications of classical conditioningClassical conditioning has a number of ‘real-life’ applications. Applications of classical conditioning Graduated Aversion Flooding exposure therapy Treatment method Presenting successive The inhibition or for fears/phobias by approximations of the discouragement of extinguishing the CS until the CS undesirable behaviour CR. itself does not by pairing it with an produce the CR. aversive stimulus.
Graduated exposureGraduated exposure involves It has been successfully usedgradually presenting to eliminate a range ofsuccessive approximations of problems involving fearthe CS until the CS itself and anxiety responses suchdoes not produce the CR. as a fear of flying.It is a process that involvesthe extinction of theassociation between the CSand the CR.It is also known as‘systematic desensitisation’. Source: Digital Vision
Graduated exposureThe steps in graduatedexposure are:• teach the person a relaxation strategy• break down the CS into a sequence arranged from least to most anxiety- producing (a fear hierarchy)• gradually begin to extinguish the CR by pairing items in the hierarchy with relaxation by working upward through items in the hierarchy.
Graduated exposureGraduated exposure can be doneby using:• visual imagery (imaginal exposure)• real-life exposure (in vivo exposure)• virtual reality technology.The best results appear to occurusing in vivo graduated exposures. Source: Macmillan Australia
Graduated exposureThe process of graduated exposureBefore conditioning During After conditioning conditioning Relaxation training PLUSRelaxation Relaxation Successive Relaxation Phobic Relaxationtraining approximations stimulus of the Phobic stimulus UCS UCR UCS UCR CS CR
Graduated exposureDescribe the process by which someone with a fear ofenclosed spaces (e.g. using a lift) could overcome it usinggraduated exposure. Source: Image Source
What is aversion therapy?Aversion therapy inhibits(blocks) or discourages What kinds of aversiveundesirable behaviour by stimuli could be used inpairing it with an aversive aversion therapy? Liststimulus. three.It has been used successfullyto treat many differentbehaviours such asalcoholism, drugdependence, nail biting,gambling, inappropriatesexual behaviours. Source: Up the Resolution
Aversion therapy at the moviesAversion therapy was • de Large is given a drugused in Anthony Burgess‘s that induces extremebook A Clockwork nausea and anxietyOrange (1962), which was • he is strapped into a seatadapted as a film by before a large screen andStanley Kubrick in 1971. his eyes are clamped open (so that he cannot closeAlex de Large is offered them)freedom from a long jailsentence if he is prepared to • he is forced to watch anundergo aversion therapy unrelenting series offor his violence: graphically violent films whilst feeling increasingly sick and panicky.
Aversion therapy at the moviesUsing the case of Alex de Large, complete the following:Before conditioning During After conditioning conditioning Nausea &Nausea & anxiety Violenceanxiety Nausea & inducing Nausea & Nausea & (without anxietyinducing anxiety drug anxiety drug)drug PLUS violenceUCS UCR UCS UCR CS CR
FloodingFlooding involves bringingthe client into direct contactwith the CS and keepingthem in contact with it untilthe CR is extinguished.The principle underlying thistechnique is that anxietywill be experienced at avery high level and thengradually diminish, therebyenabling the client toexperience the CS in theabsence of the CR. Source: Macmillan Australia
FloodingDescribe the process by which someone with a fear of heightscould overcome it using flooding. Source: Image Source
Quick quiz• Question 1: What does graduated exposure involve?• Answer: Gradually presenting successive approximations of the CS until the CS itself does not produce the CR.• Question 2: The best results when using graduated exposure appear to occur via imaginal exposure. True or false?• Answer: False, best results are using in vivo graduated exposures.• Question 3: What does aversion therapy involve?• Answer: Inhibiting or discouraging an undesirable behaviour by pairing it with an aversive stimulus.• Question 4: The idea behind aversion therapy is that the undesired behaviour becomes the CS. True or false?• Answer: True.• Question 5: Name one behaviour that can be treated by aversion therapy.• Answer: Alcoholism, drug dependence, nail biting, gambling, sexual behaviours.• Question 6: Flooding involves bringing the client into direct contact with the CS in order to strengthen the association with the CR. True or false?• Answer: False, it is designed to extinguish the association with the CR.• Question 7: What is the underlying principle of flooding?• Answer: That anxiety will be experienced at a very high level and then gradually diminish.