Applications to Psychology

Phobias can thus be seen as providing a testing ground for the major theories of psychology. Whether the theorist adopts a psychodynamic, learning/ behavioral, or cognitive perspective, some account of the development and treatment of phobias must be made. No one theory has been shown to be completely adequate, so research continues in each area. The study of phobias also illustrates the importance to psychology of animal research in helping psychologists to understand and treat human problems. For example, Susan Mineka has used monkeys to demonstrate the relative importance of social learning versus biology in the development of phobias. Future research will also likely consider the interactions among the various models of phobias and the conditions that might predict which models would be most effective in explaining and treating specific cases of phobias. As the models mature and are integrated into a comprehensive theory of phobias, this knowledge can then be applied to the prevention of phobias.

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