Behavior Therapy (Psychology)

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  • Treatments that use classical conditioning principles to alter behavior. According to behavior therapy, most psychological problems are learned behaviors that can be changed by taking action to replace them with new behaviors, not by searching for underlying problems as in psycho-dynamic or humanistic approaches that focus on insight or self-awareness. For example, in case of a panic attack, behavior therapy suggests first to identify the signals, rewards, and punishments, as well as other learning-based factors, that led to the panic attack and then to develop new responses to the identified constellation of factors. The behavioral approach and the social-cognitive approach, inspired by Watson, Pavlov, Skinner, and others, proposes that classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and observational learning can be used to alter disordered human behavior. The ...

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