Information processing and classical conditioning: Implications for exposure therapy and the integration of cognitive therapy and behavior therapy

Richard E. Zinbarg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article reviews Wagner's standard operating procedures (SOP) model, an information processing model of conditioning, and some of its supporting evidence. The implications of this model for behavior therapy are explored. Applying the SOP model to the anxiety reduction technique of exposure, it is predicted that: (1) rehearsal and attention- focusing should facilitate whereas distraction should attenuate the long-term benefits of exposure: and (2) successful exposure therapy should be associated with a demonstrable allocation of cognitive processing resources and indications of enhanced elaborative processing of the feared stimuli. At a more general level, the SOP model may provide a bridge between traditional behavior therapy techniques and the principles that underly cognitive therapy. That is, the SOP model suggests that even those behavior therapy techniques which represent the most straightforward applications of conditioning procedures can be seen as being mediated by information processing mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-139
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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