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Etiology of Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior

  • Paul M. G. Emmelkamp
Part of the The Plenum Behavior Therapy Series book series (PBTS)

Abstract

Numerous studies have been conducted within a learning theory framework that are more or less relevant with respect to the etiology and persistence of obsessive-compulsive behavior. These could be discussed at length (e.g., Teasdale, 1974), but the discussion here must necessarily be brief. Generally, the two-stage theory of Mowrer (1960) plays a prominent role in the behavioral formulations in accounting for the development and the maintenance of obsessive-compulsive behavior. As was discussed in the section on the etiology of phobias (see Chapter 2), Mowrer held two learning paradigms responsible for fear acquisition: classical and operant conditioning. In Mowrer’s view classically conditioned fear motivates avoidance behavior, which leads to a reduction of fear and a strengthening of the avoidance behavior. Most of the research supporting Mowrer’s view comes from the animal laboratory.

Keywords

Passive Avoidance Classical Conditioning Displacement Activity Psychoanalytic Theory Repertory Grid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul M. G. Emmelkamp

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