Collection 2005


Written by Bogdan TULBURE on . Posted in Volume IX, Nr. 1


The present study summarizes theory and data regarding the etiology of specific phobias. First, a three stage schema-based information-processing model is described. Second, the various forms of associative learning accounts about the origins of phobia are examined. It is argued that this approach has failed to provide a comprehensive account of the onset of phobic disorders. Thereafter evidence for the non-associative account is considered. The data reviewed here suggest that four pathways to fear may provide a parsimonious theory for fear etiology. But several critical points have been raised against the nonassociative account. A multifactorial model of fears and phobias is briefly described as an alternative. Finally guidelines for a comprehensive theory regarding the onset of phobias are discussed.

Keywords:  fear and phobia, etiology, non-associative account, multifactorial model