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Revisiting classical conditioning as a model for anxiety disorders : a conceptual analysis and brief review

Jan De Houwer (UGent)
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Abstract
For almost a century now, conditioning research has provided important insights in the etiology and treatment of anxiety disorders. Nevertheless, doubts were raised about whether anxiety disorders are related to conditioning. In this paper, I focus on distinguishing different claims about the relation between anxiety disorders and conditioning as well as ways of evaluating the merits of these claims. More specifically, a distinction is made between the claim that anxiety disorders are conditioning effects and the claim that anxiety disorders are due to a specific type of conditioning mechanism (i.e., the formation and activation of S-R associations, S-S associations, or propositions). Based on a brief review of the literature, I clarify which pieces of evidence are relevant for which claims and illustrate that different claims are differentially supported by the available evidence. Finally, I discuss two strategic reasons for conceptualizing anxiety disorders as conditioning effects rather than as effects of a particular conditioning mechanism.
Keywords
FEAR-ACQUISITION, INSTRUCTIONS, FRAMEWORK, ETIOLOGY, Conditioning, Anxiety disorders, Conceptual analysis

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Citation

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MLA
De Houwer, Jan. “Revisiting Classical Conditioning as a Model for Anxiety Disorders : A Conceptual Analysis and Brief Review.” BEHAVIOUR RESEARCH AND THERAPY, vol. 127, 2020, doi:10.1016/j.brat.2020.103558.
APA
De Houwer, J. (2020). Revisiting classical conditioning as a model for anxiety disorders : a conceptual analysis and brief review. BEHAVIOUR RESEARCH AND THERAPY, 127. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2020.103558
Chicago author-date
De Houwer, Jan. 2020. “Revisiting Classical Conditioning as a Model for Anxiety Disorders : A Conceptual Analysis and Brief Review.” BEHAVIOUR RESEARCH AND THERAPY 127. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2020.103558.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
De Houwer, Jan. 2020. “Revisiting Classical Conditioning as a Model for Anxiety Disorders : A Conceptual Analysis and Brief Review.” BEHAVIOUR RESEARCH AND THERAPY 127. doi:10.1016/j.brat.2020.103558.
Vancouver
1.
De Houwer J. Revisiting classical conditioning as a model for anxiety disorders : a conceptual analysis and brief review. BEHAVIOUR RESEARCH AND THERAPY. 2020;127.
IEEE
[1]
J. De Houwer, “Revisiting classical conditioning as a model for anxiety disorders : a conceptual analysis and brief review,” BEHAVIOUR RESEARCH AND THERAPY, vol. 127, 2020.
@article{8661989,
  abstract     = {For almost a century now, conditioning research has provided important insights in the etiology and treatment of anxiety disorders. Nevertheless, doubts were raised about whether anxiety disorders are related to conditioning. In this paper, I focus on distinguishing different claims about the relation between anxiety disorders and conditioning as well as ways of evaluating the merits of these claims. More specifically, a distinction is made between the claim that anxiety disorders are conditioning effects and the claim that anxiety disorders are due to a specific type of conditioning mechanism (i.e., the formation and activation of S-R associations, S-S associations, or propositions). Based on a brief review of the literature, I clarify which pieces of evidence are relevant for which claims and illustrate that different claims are differentially supported by the available evidence. Finally, I discuss two strategic reasons for conceptualizing anxiety disorders as conditioning effects rather than as effects of a particular conditioning mechanism.},
  articleno    = {103558},
  author       = {De Houwer, Jan},
  issn         = {0005-7967},
  journal      = {BEHAVIOUR RESEARCH AND THERAPY},
  keywords     = {FEAR-ACQUISITION,INSTRUCTIONS,FRAMEWORK,ETIOLOGY,Conditioning,Anxiety disorders,Conceptual analysis},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {10},
  title        = {Revisiting classical conditioning as a model for anxiety disorders : a conceptual analysis and brief review},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2020.103558},
  volume       = {127},
  year         = {2020},
}

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