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Mowrer's Two-Factor Theory

Although many theorists in the 1940s believed that there were two types of learning, Orval Hobart Mowrer was the first to combine these two types of learning into what he called the two-factor theory. The theory combines both classical conditioning, as described by Ivan Pavlov, and operant conditioning, as described by Edward Thorndike and later by B. F. Skinner. Mowrer's theory has become an important tool in understanding and treating trauma and phobias. Mowrer's theory provides a framework for understanding both the acquisition and the maintenance of traumatic stress and a variety of other disorders. This entry briefly describes both classical and operant conditioning, and how they come together in two-factor theory. Finally, the application of two-factor theory to trauma will be discussed.

Understanding the Two ...
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