The long-term persistence of neurotic symptoms, such as anxiety, poses difficult problems for any psychological theory. An attempt is made to revive the Watson-Mowrer conditioning theory and to avoid the many criticisms directed against it in the past. It is suggested that recent research has produced changes in learning theory that can be used to render this possible. In the first place, the doctrine of equipotentiality has been shown to be wrong, and some such concept as Seligman's “preparedness” is required, (...) that is the notion that certain CS are biologically prepared to be more readily connected with anxiety responses than others. In the second place, the law of extinction has to be amended, and the law of incubation or enhancement added, according to which the exposure of the CS-only may, under certain specified conditions, have the effect of increasing the strength of the CR, rather than reducing it. The major conditions favouring incubation are Pavlovian B conditioning, that is a type of conditioning in which the CR is a drive; a strong UCS, and short exposure of the CS-only. (shrink)
In this paper an attempt is made to look at Freud's contribution from the point of view of its scientific validity. A factual survey is made of the results of psychoanalytic psychotherapy, of the kinds of facts and arguments used to support the psychoanalytic doctrine and of the experiments carried out to test it. The conclusion arrived at is that psychoanalysis and the theories associated with it is not a science, but a myth; adherence to it is based on emotion (...) and prejudice rather than on fact and reason. (shrink)
Mealey proposes two categorical classes of sociopath, primary and secondary. I criticize this distinction on the basis that constructs of this kind have proved unrealistic in personality taxonomy and that dimensional systems capture reality much more successfully. I suggest how such a system could work in this particular context.