Share
Explore BrainMass

Behavioral Theories of Abnormality

The importance of reinforcements and punishments in influencing behaviour is emphasized in behavioural theories of abnormality. The main concepts related to behavioural theories and behaviourism include classical conditioning, operant conditioning, modelling, and observational learning.

Image credit: Studentne

Classical conditioning, coined by Ivan Pavlov, occurs when an unconditioned stimulus (food) necessitates a natural response (salivating) and then a neutral stimulus (bell ringing) creates the same response (salivating) due to the stimulus' association with the response. Operant conditioning, on the other hand, involves rewards and punishments for behaviour. Good behaviour is rewarded, which will elicit the individual to continue engaging in that behaviour, while bad behaviour is punished, leading to a cessation in that behaviour, observations defined as Thorndike's law of effect.

In relation to abnormality, classical conditioning and operant conditioning can work together to lead to mental illness. For example, if an individual experiences a very embarrassing situation while dining in a restaurant, they may have feelings of embarrassment and anxiety when going into restaurants in the future. To combat this, the person may then avoid going to restaurants, which acts as a reward (operant conditioning) and maintains their fear of restaurants, which could develop into a phobia if no intervention is done.

Modelling and observational learning are more behavioural theories of abnormality which involve individuals learning behaviour by copying what others do and learning from other peoples' experiences. For instance, if a person sees someone get punished over not eating vegetables, that person is likely to avoid punishment by eating vegetables.

One major benefit to behavioural theories of abnormality is that they can be studied very intensely, with controlled experiments and results that can stand up to scientific testing. Therefore, results from these studies hold important merit in the study of abnormality. Treatments can be very effective for resolving problem behaviours; however, alone they don't treat the underlying cause of the behaviour.

Premarital counselling case study

Case Study David has begun dating Beth who he met at the pool where he is a lifeguard. They have been getting along well for several months, with occasional blowups. Beth mentioned that she and her family had been to a Bowenian therapist earlier in the year, and she shared with David the genogram the therapist developed with th

Integrative Therapy.

Please help provide an analysis of the advantages and potential drawbacks of integrative therapies (those inclusive of psychoanalytic, CBT, person-centered therapies). Provide specific examples using scholarly literature (no website sources). Briefly describe how one would handle the potential drawbacks mentioned.

Tarasoff vs. Regents of the University of California

1.) The media often cover cases in which the assessment of psychopathology is relevant. Pick a particular case that has obtained attention in the media that a psychiatrist and/or psychologist was involved in assessing the individual (please check the Discussion Board and do not duplicate cases). Discuss the following, including

Behavior Analysis Methodology

Choose a hypothetical client, or a client you have actually worked with; if the latter, do not give any identifying information about that actual client (e.g., change their name, their age, and their location). Give an example of three different target behaviors in your chosen client: one you would like to increase, another you

Falsifiability in Psychology

I might be taking a shot in the dark but, this is what I think is an example falsifiability criteria to psychology is the theory of Sigmund Freud and Alfred Adler. Freud theorized that instinct forces drove people and early childhood events affected the individual's future behavior. In other words, Freud theorized human beha

Psychological Perspectives

I need help conceptualizing the task, and the habit i chose is Attraction. Attraction is positively used so as to gain attention of people towards one's self. Attractiveness or attraction refers to a quality that causes an interest or desire in something or someone. The term attraction may also refer to the object of the attr

Social Anxiety Disorder in the Workplace

I need some help with these questions: 1. Define the different categories of anxiety disorders. 2. Select 1 type of anxiety disorder that you studied, and provide the following detail about it: •Descriptive characteristics •Prevalence in the U.S. population •Risk factors and prevention •Your perception of potent

Behavioural and rational emotive behaviour

I need help with this outline. I need to explain key concepts, key theorists, the therapist and client roles, therapy limitations as well if the theory is research based in about 800 words. I would appreciate your own words and views as well. Topic: behavioral and rational emotive behavior

Summary and critique of quantitative research articles

Please note, there are two attached files to be used for the two quantitative research articles. Kindly provide citation of the article you used and the references after the solution I'll appreciate that. 1. Provide a brief summary and critique of the two quantitative research articles you found 2. Using the Checklist

Psychology of Learning questions...

Thanks for your help! â?¢What is the difference between conditioned and unconditioned responses? Provide at least three examples of each type of response. â?¢According to Pavlov, what determines how individuals respond to the environment? â?¢What is the Garcia effect? How can the Garcia effect be used? â?¢What does

Conditioned and unconditioned responses

What is the difference between conditioned and unconditioned responses? What is the difference between a conditioned stimulus and an unconditioned stimulus? Provide at least 3 examples of each type of stimulus and response to demonstrate your understanding?

Psychology 250-Psychology of Personality - stable or steady state behaviors

1. In a single Socratic Response, describe the stable or steady state behaviors associated with personality. Include in your response what you think the biological and psychological basis for behavior these behaviors might be. Do you think you are born with your personality, or do personalities develop over time? What do you thi

Cognitive Behavioral Theory (Social Learning) - 'Beneath the Mask'

I am looking for information pertaining to the Cognitive Behavioral Theory (Social Learning): Inclusion/Exclusion criteria (what clients/problems does the research suggest and how does this influence the theory in being most/least effective?). I am reading 'Beneath the Mask' by Monte and Sollod but its' chapters on Dollard,

Review Questions of Operant and Classical Conditioning

I am having trouble with this type of application problems. I provided my answers. Can you check them and explain each one to me and correct the ones that might not be right. Thanks. ---------------------------- III. Learning in the Real World: Review Questions of Operant and Classical Conditioning 1a. When