Although fear plays an important role in human development, adaptation, and, ultimately, survival, fear can be disabling when it manifests itself as a phobia or an anxiety disorder. Effective treatment for fear-based disorders depends upon the basic science that informs theories about the origins of fear and about how fear is learned.
This book brings together the most recent empirical developments in learning theory for understanding the etiology and treatment of fears and phobias. The editors have assembled contributions from leading scientists whose work represents the cutting edge in such areas as measurement methodology, neurobiology, cognitive processing, behavioral models, emotion regulation, and pharmacological and other clinical treatments. After a review of the history of fear learning and basic concepts and methods in fear measurement, subsequent chapters elucidate processes of acquisition and maintenance of fear, finally moving to the extinction, renewal, and reinstatement of fear.
The research synthesized in this book has applicability to the entire spectrum of anxiety disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobias.
Michelle G. Craske, PhD, is professor of psychology and director of the Anxiety Disorders Behavioral Research Program at the University of California in Los Angeles. Dirk Hermans, PhD, is professor of psychology and director of the Center for the Psychology of Learning and Experimental Psychopathology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Leuven in Leuven, Belgium. Debora Vansteenwegen, PhD, is the research director of the Psychophysiology Laboratory at the Center for the Psychology of Learning and Experimental Psychopathology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Leuven in Leuven, Belgium.