Fear, Avoidance, and Phobias: A Fundamental Analysis

Fear, Avoidance, and Phobias: A Fundamental Analysis

Fear, Avoidance, and Phobias: A Fundamental Analysis

Fear, Avoidance, and Phobias: A Fundamental Analysis


The first volume to comprehensively address aversively motivated events and behavior in almost 20 years, Fear, Avoidance and Phobias presents updated and expanded research in this complex and important area. Nearly every aspect of research on fear and its removal is covered to some extent in this text including: learned helplessness, phobias, self-punitive behavior, conditioned analgesia, taste aversions, math models, fear systems in the brain, two-factor theory of avoidance, relaxation/relief, memory for aversive events, and conditioned inhibition of fear and its extinction.


There has not been a comprehensive coverage of the field of aversive events and behavior since the publication of F. R. Brush's edited book Aversive Conditioning and Learning in 1971, with a dozen contributors, and Camp bell andChurch's edited book Punishment and Aversive Behavior, 1969. This large, complex, interesting, and important area has been brought up to date and expanded in the present volume. Here, new phenomena, like conditioned analgesia, are wrestled with theoretically; and old phenomena that have remained fairly intransigent, even after many more data have accrued, are reanalyzed.

The field is especially important because it provides basic data and theory for potentially solving many of the behavior problems that beset human beings. Much of clinical psychology (anxiety, phobias, neuroses, etc.), and much that related to aggression and conflict resolution have their roots in the topics of this book. And at least 2 of the chapters deal with direct applications of the basic material to problems that torment humans. The remaining 10 chapters constitute a broad coverage of a critical area by a group of competent, recognized investigators.

This coverage includes an original and extensive neurophysiological theory of fear; an analysis of avoidance learning by means of a computerbased model that shows considerable analytical promise; relatively new and convincing interpretations of learned helplessness and self-punitive behavior; several rebuttals of the notion that avoidance can occur without fear, which in one case sheds new light on the concept of conditioned inhibition; a critical review of the memory of aversive events; plus a good deal more.

M. Ray Denny

East Lansing, Michigan . . .

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