Presents a critique of contemporary research which uses the notion of a mental image as a theoretical construct to describe 1 form of memory representation. It is argued that an adequate characterization of "what one knows" requires the use of abstract mental structures to which there is no conscious access and which are essentially conceptual and propositional, rather than sensory or pictorial, in nature. Such representations are more accurately referred to as symbolic descriptions than as images in the usual sense. Implications of using an imagery vocabulary are examined, and it is argued that the picture metaphor underlying recent theoretical discussions is seriously misleading, especially as it suggests that the image is an entity to be perceived. The relative merits of several alternative modes of representation (propositions, data structures, and procedures) are discussed. A more speculative discussion of the nature of the representation which may be involved when people "use" visual images is also presented. (65 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Two groups of moderately snake phobic college students were given either imaginal or in vivo exposure treatment. The groups were compared on self-report and physiological measures of fear activation during exposure trials, as well as on within- and across-session habituation of fear responses. On these measures, as well as on treatment outcome, the two groups were found to be very similar. The results lend further support to the importance of the concept of emotional processing in understanding fear reduction processes. Differences in treatment procedure may be important only when one procedure facilitates emotional processing more than another.
In this article we propose mechanisms that govern the processing of emotional information, particularly those involved in fear reduction. Emotions are viewed as represented by information structures in memory, and anxiety is thought to occur when an information structure that serves as program to escape or avoid danger is activated. Emotional processing is defined as the modification of memory structures that underlie emotions. It is argued that some form of exposure to feared situations is common to many psychotherapies for anxiety, and that confrontation with feared objects or situations is an effective treatment. Physiological activation and habituation within and across exposure sessions are cited as indicators of emotional processing, and variables that influence activation and habituation of fear responses are examined. These variables and the indicators are analyzed to yield an account of what information must be integrated for emotional processing of a fear structure. The elements of such a structure are viewed as cognitive representations of the stimulus characteristic of the fear situation, the individual's responses in it, and aspects of its meaning for the individual. Treatment failures are interpreted with respect to the interference of cognitive defenses, autonomic arousal, mood state, and erroneous ideation with reformation of targeted fear structures. Applications of the concepts advanced here to therapeutic practice and to the broader study of psychopathology are discussed.
Presents an integrative theoretical framework to explain and to predict psychological changes achieved by different modes of treatment. This theory states that psychological procedures, whatever their form, alter the level and strength of self-efficacy. It is hypothesized that expectations of personal efficacy determine whether coping behavior will be initiated, how much effort will be expended, and how long it will be sustained in the face of obstacles and aversive experiences. Persistence in activities that are subjectively threatening but in fact relatively safe produces, through experiences of mastery, further enhancement of self-efficacy and corresponding reductions in defensive behavior. In the proposed model, expectations of personal efficacy are derived from 4 principal sources of information: performance accomplishments, vicarious experience, verbal persuasion, and physiological states. Factors influencing the cognitive processing of efficacy information arise from enactive, vicarious, exhortative, and emotive sources. The differential power of diverse therapeutic procedures is analyzed in terms of the postulated cognitive mechanism of operation. Findings are reported from microanalyses of enactive, vicarious, and emotive modes of treatment that support the hypothesized relationship between perceived self-efficacy and behavioral changes. (21/2 p ref)
‘Books’, says Wessely, ‘are not very important for us’ (‘And now the book reviews’, British Journal of Psychiatry 2000; 177, 388–89). For once he is wrong. This is the fourth edition of what has become a standard American text, well nearly so – the
This chapter presents a way of classifying classical conditioning experiments into four subclasses. The four subclasses involve successively less motivation from extrinsic sources and more dependence upon the conditioned stimulus (CS) and unconditioned stimulus (UCS) alone. A tridimensional classification of operant or instrumental experiments is outlined that depends upon cues, nature of the reinforcement, and nature of the response demanded of the subject. The two sets of subclassifications are necessarily operational and incompletely operational at that rather than functional. The chapter explains some of the further operations and functional relations that set limits to the operational classification. It discusses the human classical and operant conditioning, both the simple forms and more complex varieties that parallel in some regard the basic varieties of human learning that form the subject matter of this symposium. When rewards or punishments are used in experiments a complicated mixture of classical and instrumental conditioning takes place.
Describes experiments in which happy or sad moods were induced in Ss by hypnotic suggestion to investigate the influence of emotions on memory and thinking. Results show that (a) Ss exhibited mood-state-dependent memory in recall of word lists, personal experiences recorded in a daily diary, and childhood experiences; (b) Ss recalled a greater percentage of those experiences that were affectively congruent with the mood they were in during recall; (c) emotion powerfully influenced such cognitive processes as free associations, imaginative fantasies, social perceptions, and snap judgments about others' personalities; (d) when the feeling-tone of a narrative agreed with the reader's emotion, the salience and memorability of events in that narrative were increased. An associative network theory is proposed to account for these results. In this theory, an emotion serves as a memory unit that can enter into associations with coincident events. Activation of this emotion unit aids retrieval of events associated with it; it also primes emotional themata for use in free association, fantasies, and perceptual categorization. (54 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
A theory of emotional imagery is described which conceives the image in the brain to be a conceptual network, controlling specific somatovisceral patterns, and constituting a prototype for overt behavioral expression. Evidence for the hypothesis that differentiated efferent activity is associated with type and content of imaginal activity is considered. Recent work in cognitive psychology is described, which treats both the generation of sensory imagery and text comprehension and storage as examples of the processing of propositional information. A similar propositional analysis is applied to emotional imagery as it is employed in the therapeutic context. Experiments prompted by this view show that the conceptual structure of the image and its associated efferent outflow can be modified directly through instructions and through shaping of reports of image experience. The implications of the theory for psychopathology are considered, as well as its relevance to therapeutic behavior change.
The efficacy of imaginal and in vivo exposure was compared in 19 obsessive-compulsives who manifested checking rituals. Response prevention was not instituted in either group. No difference between the two procedures was detected either at posttreatment or at follow-up; both were moderately effective in ameliorating obsessive-compulsive symptoms. There appears to be a tendency for patients treated with in vivo exposure to improve further at follow-up, whereas those treated with imaginal exposure maintained the level of gains achieved at posttreatment. In comparison with a treatment regimen which includes both exposure and response prevention, the exposure procedures in vestigated here yielded inferior outcomes. The finding of no difference between in vivo and imaginal exposure modalities is incongruent with studies on phobics. Possible explanations for this discrepancy are discussed.
[presents] an exploration of response organization in fear and anxiety / includes a discussion of how information about physiological mobilization and action are represented in memory, their relationship to semantic knowledge, and a speculation as to their significance in the cognitive processing of emotion / it is argued that psychophysiological responses are integral to the expression of clinical anxiety and that their activation plays a significant role in mediating other syndromal behaviors (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Arousing anxiety is one of the most important instruments of tyranny. Arousing anxiety is a weapon used not only by dictatorial societies, but also by the dictators of the family, school, workplace or organization. The essence of anxiety is the inability to actively control situations perceived as threatening —the experience of this lack of control and the inability to avert the impending threat causes this situation. In the interest of preserving and strengthening their power, the person or group possessing crucial information is able to withdraw the possibility of control, or to portion it out as a reward; in this way anxiety is aroused in those affected. Arousing anxiety is not only an instrument, but can also be the essence of the exercise of power for its own sake. Tyrannical power wishes to ensure full freedom of decision for itself at all times and it therefore does not commit itself, not even in the form of an agreement serving its own interests. This is true for all relationships of dependency in which the more independent partner is able to withhold information, thereby keeping the other partner in a state of “loss of control”. If the plumber does not turn up at the time agreed and does not inform us of this beforehand, if the garage does not repair the car on the grounds of a shortage of spare parts despite the fact that they have parts, we are placed in a state of powerlessness. We encounter various forms of abuse of power and induced anxiety day after day, but do not pay sufficient attention to it, do not recognise it in its essence and do not understand how this slow-acting poison kills. However, we can also arrive at a psychological definition of freedom and democracy through an understanding of the essence of arousing anxiety and of anxiety.
Three indicators of emotional processing — peak response, habituation within sessions, and habituation across sessions — were examined in relation to therapy outcome with 14 obsessive-compulsives who were treated by 15 sessions of exposure in imagination and in vivo. Treatment outcome was evaluated by therapist, independent assessor, and self-ratings of target symptoms. Processes during therapy were assessed via self-report of anxiety as well as cardiac and electrodermal responses recorded during treatment sessions 6 and 14. Overall, the treatment was successful. As hypothesized, fear activation during exposure and habituation within sessions were evident in both self-report and physiological measures; habituation across sessions was observed in group means only for self-report. Also as hypothesized, both fear activation during exposure and greater habituation across sessions predicted better posttreatment ratings of obsessional fear. Habituation within sessions did not predict individual differences in outcome. These results support the theoretical formulation developed by Foa and Kozak (1986) to explain the effects of exposure therapy.
The present experiment was designed to test Eysenck's hypothesis that repeated exposure to an unreinforeed CS of brief duration following acquisition of a classical aversive CR may lead to a progressive increase in the strength of that CR, provided that the UCS is intense and the CR has drive-like properties. Using a between-groups design, normal human subjects were given identical classical acquisition trials, followed by extinction trials where CS duration was either 2, 8 or 16 sec. The UCS was of fixed high intensity. Dependent measures were tonic and phasic heart rate and skin conductance. No evidence of incubation was found as a function of CS duration. Nor was there any indication that CS duration differentially affected resistance to extinction. A small number of subjects showed evidence of incubation with heart rate measures during extinction. However, there was no indication that this enhancement was governed by the parameters suggested by Eysenck. UCR amplitude, which showed a positive correspondence with CS-bound activity throughout the trials, did not reliably predict incubation. Problems concerning both the definition and the demonstration of incubation are discussed.
An analysis of fear imagery in behavior therapy is developed from the combined perspectives of information processing theory and psychophysiology. Recent thought on imagery processing and storage is considered, and it is argued that affective images are best viewed as propositional structures rather than as iconic or holistic sensory representations. A method is presented for manipulating the image through instructions, and an image taxonomy of stimulus and response components is described. The usefulness of bioelectric measurement is emphasized throughout, and this is illustrated in an experiment derived from the “constructive” concept of imagery. The implications of this approach are then developed for behavior modification research: Desensitization and flooding are analyzed, comparisons are made among media, imaginal, and in vivo fear treatments, and the significance of image analysis is elucidated for both overt and covert modeling. In conclusion, a general model for fear processing is described and directions for future research are outlined.
The effects of massed versus spaced in vivo exposure sessions were compared in the treatment of 19 agoraphobic and 17 simple phobic outpatients. Subjects received ten 90-min sessions of therapist-assisted exposure and were assessed with self-report measures, a behavioral diary, and a behavioral avoidance test. There were no differences between the two methods of treatment at either posttest or 6-months follow-up with one exception—a frequency of significat findings which would be expected in light of the experimental wise error rateContrary to assertions in the literature, massed subjects were no more likely to drop out of treatment or to relapse during the follow-up period. Subjects who entered the treatment program rated the two methods of delivery as equally stressful, but unsystematic observation indicated that massed treatment was less acceptable to some potential clients who refused treatment rather than accept random assignment.
Behavioral psychotherapy has become one of the definitive treatments available for the relief of psychiatric suffering. Although hardly a panacea for all ills, the behavioral approach is the treatment of choice for certain selected problems. Behavioral methods make their contribution in the context of general psychiatric management and often must be used in conjunction with other treatment. The theoretical and practical aspects of behavioral psychotherapy have changed a great deal over the past few years and continue to evolve rapidly. Although useful molecular theories are emerging to guide the discipline, no global theory is likely to be satisfactory in the foreseeable future.
Patterns of habituation of subjective anxiety during flooding in fantasy are delineated for eleven obsessive-compulsive and six agoraphobic patients. The majority showed a curvilinear pattern of subjective anxiety response, while three patients showed a linear decelerating pattern. Habituation was found both within and across sessions. The results are compared with habituation patterns in physiological responses during flooding in fantasy and in vivo.
The present article presents an integrative theoretical framework to explain and to predict psychological changes achieved by different modes of treatment. This theory states that psychological procedures, whatever their form, alter the level and strength of self-efficacy. It is hypothesized that expectations of per- sonal efficacy determine whether coping behavior will be initiated, how much effort will be expended, and how long it will be sustained in the face of ob- stacles and aversive experiences. Persistence in activities that are subjectively threatening but in fact relatively safe produces, through experiences of mastery, further enhancement of self-efficacy and corresponding reductions in defensive behavior. In the proposed model, expectations of personal efficacy are derived from four principal sources of information: performance accomplishments, vicarious experience, verbal persuasion, and physiological states. The more de- pendable the experiential sources, the greater are the changes in perceived self- efficacy. A number of factors are identified as influencing the cognitive processing of efficacy information arising from enactive, vicarious, exhortative, and emotive sources. The differential power of diverse therapeutic procedures is analyzed in terms of the postulated cognitive mechanism of operation. Findings are reported from microanalyses of enactive, vicarious, and emotive modes of treatment that support the hypothesized relationship between perceived self-efficacy and be- havioral changes. Possible directions for further research are discussed.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder characterized by compulsive rituals such as excessive washing and repeated checking and phobic avoidance. The treatment of choice is behavioural psychotherapy, namely exposure and response prevention.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder, which may affect 2% to 3% of the U.S. population, can be severely disabling, permeating an individual's personal, social, and work life. Only within the past 2 decades have effective treatments been proposed and tested. Specific behavior therapies such as exposure in vivo and response prevention have proved successful in decreasing compulsive rituals in 70% to 80% of patients who accept and comply with treatment. For those patients who do not respond to behavior therapy, medications should be used. To date the tricyclic clomipramine is the only medication that has been consistently effective in controlled studies. However, for certain patients other medications may be of benefit. For the minority of patients who do not respond to either behavior therapy or medication, psychosurgery--specifically stereotactic limbic leucotomy--should be considered a viable option.
Five obsessive-compulsive patients were treated by modelling plus flooding in an attempt to replicate earlier findings with this method. The attempt succeeded and the present results are discussed in the light of the outcomes observed in the total series of 20 patients. Modelling and/or flooding produced significantly greater improvements than a relaxation (control) treatment. Improvement continued to 6 months follow-up. Ten other patients have been followed up for 2 yr so far and maintained their improvement. The magnitude of clinically-assessed change is satisfactory in most cases but some failures are noted. The search for prognostic indices was unsuccessful. Subject to reservations, we feel that the treatment method can now be used with routine cases.
INVESTIGATED THE EXTINCTION OF AVOIDANCE RESPONSES THROUGH OBSERVATION OF MODELED APPROACH BEHAVIOR DIRECTED TOWARD A FEARED STIMULUS WITHOUT ANY ADVERSE CONSEQUENCES ACCRUING TO THE MODEL. CHILDREN WHO DISPLAYED FEARFUL AND AVOIDANT BEHAVIOR TOWARD DOGS WERE ASSIGNED TO A CONDITION IN WHICH THEY (1) PARTICIPATED IN A SERIES OF BRIEF MODELING SESSIONS IN WHICH THEY OBSERVED, WITHIN A HIGHLY POSITIVE CONTEXT, A FEARLESS PEER MODEL EXHIBIT PROGRESSIVELY STRONGER APPROACH RESPONSES TOWARD A DOG; (2) OBSERVED THE SAME GRADUATED MODELING STIMULI, BUT IN A NEUTRAL CONTEXT; (3) MERELY OBSERVED THE DOG IN THE POSITIVE CONTEXT, WITH THE MODEL ABSENT; OR (4) PARTICIPATED IN THE POSITIVE ACTIVITIES WITHOUT ANY EXPOSURE TO EITHER THE DOG OR THE MODELED DISPLAYS. THE 2 GROUPS WHO HAD OBSERVED THE MODEL INTERACT NONANXIOUSLY WITH THE DOG DISPLAYED STABLE AND GENERALIZED REDUCTION IN AVOIDANCE BEHAVIOR AND DIFFERED SIGNIFICANTLY IN THIS RESPECT FROM CHILDREN IN THE DOG-EXPOSURE AND THE POSITIVE-CONTEXT CONDITIONS. HOWEVER, THE POSITIVE CONTEXT, WHICH WAS DESIGNED TO INDUCE ANXIETY-COMPETING RESPONSES, DID NOT ENHANCE THE EXTINCTION EFFECTS PRODUCED THROUGH MODELING.
The authors reviewed the studies on obsessive-compulsive disorders published from 1953 to 1978. They report on various theories of the etiology of the disorders and provide an overview of the studies based on these theories. The treatment modalities covered include behavioral modification, drug therapy psychotherapy, surgery, and experimental therapies. the authors conclude that, although the obsessive-compulsive disorders are widely present, there is a paucity of new data concerning their treatment. The evidence to date, however, suggests that psychotherapy is an essential ingredient in the treatment process. They recommended that further clinical studies be done to elucidate the etiology and treatment of these disorders.
Obsessive-compulsive ritualizers have maintained their improvement after exposure in vivo for up to 3 years' follow-up in the United States, Britain, Greece, and Australia. Unlike exposure in vivo, relaxation is of little value. Early gains in treatment predict long-term outcome. Exposure therapy is usually on an outpatient basis and takes 1-30 sessions. Self-exposure homework is critical. Sessions at home are also required, together with relatives cooperating as exposure cotherapists. Some patients can treat themselves almost unaided, while others need extensive assistance. Clomipramine is helpful for ritualizers with coexisting depression, but depression tends to recur when clomipramine therapy is stopped.
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