Seligman 1971 phobias preparedness

Young Investigator Award Competition.

Preparedness (learning)

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Anxiety and the anxiety disorders, ed. Conceptual issues in evolutionary biology, ed. Use of the reaction time task as the UCS with normals and schizophrenics.It is over 20 years since Seligman (; ) introduced the concept of biological preparedness to explain why fears and phobias are so much more likely with certain.

BEaAVIOa THERAPY () 2, Phobias and Preparedness1 MAlaTIN E. P. SELIGMAN University of Pennsylvania Some inadequacies of the classical conditioning analysis of phobias are discussed: phobias are highly resistant to extinction, whereas laboratory fear conditioning, unlike avoidance conditioning, extinguishes rapidly;.

Generalizing from taste aversion to phobias, Seligman () noted that people are far more likely to develop fears of some stimuli than others (i.e., preparedness).

Notably, these common fears usually concern snakes, heights, and other stimuli that posed mortal threats to human beings throughout natural history.

The preparedness theory of phobia holds that humans are biologically prepared to learn to fear objects and situations that threatened the survival of the species throughout its evolutionary history (Seligman, ).

Biological preparedness is postulated to be responsible for the rapid acquisition, irrationality, belongingness, and high resistance to extinction considered characteristic of phobias.

Seligman, however, questioned differences between fears conditioned in the laboratory and phobias, and instead proposed a contemporary model of fear learning which he called preparedness theory.

According to preparedness theory, phobias are based in the evolutionary programming of humans and they are primed to respond to fear specific.

The Legacy of Seligman's

In psychology, preparedness is a concept developed to explain why certain associations are learned more readily than others. For example, phobias related to survival, such as snakes, spiders, and heights, are much more common and much easier to induce in the laboratory than other kinds of fears.

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Seligman 1971 phobias preparedness
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