Research on Nonpatient Populations
Analogue studies of exposure therapies differ from the clinical situation in many respects. The populations (generally rats or college students) and problems studied (e.g., laboratory conditioned fears; small-animal fears) are not problems of interest to the clinician. In addition, analogue procedures, though similar to the clinical procedure on some dimension(s), still are vastly different from those used by the clinician. Clinicians often view analogue research, particularly animal studies, as having little relevance to the problems presented by their clients. Animal researchers note, on the other hand, that research on human neurotics is hopelessly confounded by the myriad sources of uncontrolled variation. They point out that the clinician is neither familiar with the client’s specific conditioning history nor can he or she control it. In the middle of this argument stands the scientist who employs normal humans with “subclinical” phobias as subjects to receive treatment analogues.
KeywordsConditioned Stimulus Fearful Memory Response Prevention Fear Extinction Imagery Ability
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