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A means of adjusting to things, not treating patients. For most cases there is no total cure;the aim is adaptation.


Some people are more vulnerable to phobia. That is a vulnerability transmitted genetically. Incidence of phobia runs in families.


Extinction is a subset of habituation.

Exposure therapy is more effective on the long term (i.e.1 hour is better than five minutes 12 times). Habituation should be as complete as possible by the end of the session.

Extinction bursts can occur.


  • Reinforcement (rewarding) of apparently a voluntary behavior.
  • Reinforcers should be tested in reality (e.g. Sweets can be unsuccessful reinforcers >> nauseating to a hungry child).
  • Intermittent reinforcers give more reliable reinforcement and is more difficult to extinguish (e.f. Gambling machines)
  • Contingency of reinforcement is important.

Avoidance behavior ( e.g. not going out ) increases the likelihood of avoiding, as the association of reduction of anxiety with avoidance leads to further avoidance.


It should follow behavior immediately. It is not the same as negative reinforcement.. In negative reinforcement , the reinforcer is specific to the punishable behavior and the animal has free access to any other repertoire of behavior.

Time -Out is a short period when positive reinforcement is withheld.

Operant Conditioning Methods:-

  • A. Antecedents
  • B. Behavior
  • C. Consequences

It is used to modify the effects of institutionalization in Schizophrenia , in Autism and withdrawal and for motivating the physically and mentally handicapped , as well as in disturbed behavior of children.


  • Reward desired behaviour rather than punishing the undesired one.
  • Ignore undesired behaviour.
  • Use small steps(shaping)
  • Graded reinforcement.
  • Time out.
  • Token Economy.

Smacking a child is unsuccessful to modify his behavior as the behaviour is reinforced and punished at the same time.

Intermittent reinforcement is better than giving it all on one occasion.

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