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Can Rachman’s indirect pathways be used to un-learn fear? A prospective paradigm to test whether children’s fears can be reduced using positive information and modelling a non-anxious response

Kelly, V., Barker, H., Field, A., Wilson, C. and Reynolds, S. (2010) Can Rachman’s indirect pathways be used to un-learn fear? A prospective paradigm to test whether children’s fears can be reduced using positive information and modelling a non-anxious response. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 48. pp. 164-170. ISSN 0005-7967

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Abstract/Summary

This study investigated whether children’s fears could be un-learned using Rachman’s indirect pathways for learning fear. We hypothesised that positive information and modelling a non-anxious response are effective methods of un-learning fears acquired through verbal information. One hundred and seven children aged 6–8 years received negative information about one animal and no information about another. Fear beliefs and behavioural avoidance were measured. Children were randomised to receive positive verbal information, modelling, or a control task. Fear beliefs and behavioural avoidance were measured again. Positive information and modelling led to lower fear beliefs and behavioural avoidance than the control condition. Positive information was more effective than modelling in reducing fear beliefs and both methods significantly reduced behavioural avoidance. The results support Rachman’s indirect pathways as viable fear un-learning pathways and supports associative learning theories.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
ID Code:28637
Publisher:Elsevier

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