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Tag Archive 'pavlovian model'

The Pavlovian Model in Preparedness Theory

Pavlovian conditioning is basic to learning and is obviously a critical factor in the acquisition of phobias. This model assumes that all members of a species share a common set of reflexes, hard-wired responses to certain stimuli. These unconditional reflexes are critical to survival. Pavlovian conditioning, which relies on these reflexes, or the stimulus-response relationship, has been shown to be fundamental to learning such that all animals learn to adapt to their environment based on this concept.

The traditional learning model, based on animal conditioning research, has been extraordinarily useful but unfortunately very limited where phobias are concerned (McNally 284). First of all, one cannot assume that human phobias are the same as fears conditioned in animals in a laboratory, and they are not, as will be discussed later.

Field and Davey also had the following problems with the traditional model (191-192). Phobias, for one, tend to be highly resistant to extinction, more so than other acquired responses. Some phobics have no memory of an aversive conditioning event at the onset of their phobia while others recall an associated traumatic event. …

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