Mowrer's Two-Process Model

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In 1947, Orval Hobart Mowrer established the two-process model to explain how phobias are developed, which psychologists still use today. It uses two segments of behavioural psychology; Classical Conditioning and Operant Conditioning. The first stage, Classical Conditioning, looks at how association between the unconditioned stimulus and the unconditioned response leads to a phobia. One case that exemplifies this stage is in the case of Little Albert and the White Rat. Before classical conditioning, Little Albert showed no distress with the white rat (the neutral stimulus), but he disliked loud noises (the unconditioned stimulus). When he heard the loud noise and saw the rat at the same time, he began to associate the loud noise with the white rat to the point in which without the loud noise he would show distress and cry (unconditioned response). This process can be used to explain other phobias, as situations in which phobias develop usually have a neutral stimulus, which is what the person fears, and an unconditioned stimulus, which is what leads to the person fearing the neutral stimulus. The second stage, Operant Conditioning, looks at how a phobia is…show more content…
While the Two-Process Model explains that an association between an unconditioned stimulus (a negative experience) and a neutral stimulus, the Diathesis-Stress Model gives another idea. It proposes that people inherit a genetic vulnerability which makes people more likely to develop mental disorders. But these can only take place if prompted by a life event. Evidence of the Diathesis-Stress Model has found that there are people who have been bitten by dogs and not developed a phobia of dogs. This suggests that not everyone can inherit a genetic vulnerability, which refutes the Two-Process Model's idea that you will definitely acquire a phobia/fear response if you have a bad experience with a neutral

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