Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Pavlov and the Foundation of Behavior Therapy

  • Joseph J. Plaud (a1)

Abstract

The foundation, achievements, and proliferation of behavior therapy have largely been fueled by the movement's foundation in behavioral principles and theories. Although behavioral accounts of the genesis and treatment of psychopathology differ in the extent to which they emphasize classical or operant conditioning, the mediation of cognitive factors, and the role of biological variables, Pavlov's discovery of conditioning principles was essential to the founding of behavior therapy in the 1950s, and continues to be central to modern behavior therapy. Pavlov's reliance on a physiological model of the nervous system, sensible in the context of an early science of neurology, has had an implication for behavior therapists interested in the study of personality types. However, Pavlov's major legacy to behavior therapy was his discovery of “experimental neuroses,” shown by his students Eroféeva and Shenger-Krestovnikova, to be produced and eliminated through the principles of conditioning and counter-conditioning. This discovery laid the foundation for the first empirically-validated behavior therapy procedure, systematic desensitization, pioneered by Wolpe. The Pavlovian origins of behavior therapy are analyzed in this paper, and the relevance of conditioning principles to modern behavior therapy is demonstrated. It is shown that Pavlovian conditioning represents far more than a systematic basic learning paradigm. It is also an essential theoretical foundation for the theory and practice of behavior therapy.

La fundación, logros y proliferación de la terapia de conducta han sido ampliamente alimentados por la fundamentación del movimiento en los principios y teorías conductuales. Aunque las explicaciones conductuales de la génesis y el tratamiento de la psicopatología difieren en la importancia que le atribuyen al condicionamiento clásico o al operante, a la mediación de factores cognitivos y al papel de las variables biológicas, el descubrimiento de Pavlov de los principios del condicionamiento fue esencial para la fundación de la terapia de conducta en la década de 1950, y sigue estando en el centro de la moderna terapia de conducta. La confianza de Pavlov en un modelo fisiológico del sistema nervioso, comprensible en el contexto de una temprana neurología, ha tenido implicaciones para los terapeutas de conducta interesados en el estudio de los tipos de personalidad. Sin embargo, el principal legado de Pavlov a la terapia de conducta fue su descubrimiento de las “neurosis experimentales” que, como mostraron sus discípulas Eroféeva y Shenger-Krestovnikova, se producían y eliminaban mediante los principios del condicionamiento y el contracondicionamiento. Este descubrimiento puso la base del primer procedimiento de terapia de conducta empíricamente validado, la desensibilización sistemática, desarrollada por Wolpe. En este artículo se analizan los orígenes pavlovianos de la terapia de conducta y se pone de manifiesto la relevancia de los principios del condicionamiento para la moderna terapia de conducta. Se muestra que el condicionamiento pavloviano representa mucho más que un paradigma sistemático de aprendizaje básico. Es también una fundamentación teórica esencial para la teoría y la práctica de la terapia de conducta.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence concerning this chapter should be addressed to Joseph J. Plaud, Research Office, 44 Hickory Lane, Whitinsville, MA 01588-1356, USA. Electronic mail may be sent via the Internet toplaud@fdrheritage.org.

References

Hide All
Campbell, D., Sanderson, R., & Laverty, S. G. (1964). Characteristics of conditioned response in human subjects during extinction trials following a single traumatic conditioning trial. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 66, 627639.
Dollard, J., & Miller, N. E. (1950). Personality and psychotherapy. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Eifert, G. H., & Plaud, J. J. (1998). From behavior theory to behavior therapy: An overview. In Plaud, J. J. & Eifert, G. H. (Eds.), From behavior theory to behavior therapy (pp. 114). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Eroféeva, M. N. (1912). Electrical stimulation of the skin of the dog as a conditioned salivary stimulus. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Petrograd.
Eysenck, H. J. (Ed.). (1967). The biological basis of personality. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.
Eysenck, H. J. (1987a). The role of heredity, environment, and “preparedness” in the genesis of neurosis. In Eysenck, H. J. & Martin, I. (Eds.), Theoretical foundations of behavior therapy (pp. 379402). New York: Plenum Press.
Eysenck, H. J. (1987b). Behavior therapy. In Eysenck, H. J. & Martin, I. (Eds.), Theoretical foundations of behavior therapy (pp. 335). New York: Plenum Press.
Eysenck, H. J. (1988). Psychotherapy to behavior therapy: A paradigm shift. In Fishman, D. B., Rotgers, F., & Franks, C. M. (Eds.), Paradigms in behavior therapy: Present and promise (pp. 4576). New York: Springer.
Forsyth, J. P., & Eifert, G. H. (1998). Phobic anxiety and panic: An integrative behavioral account of their origin and treatment. In Plaud, J. J. & Eifert, G. H. (Eds.), From behavior theory to behavior therapy. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Hollandsworth, J.G. (Ed.). (1990). The physiology of psychological disorders. New York: Plenum Press.
Jones, M. C. (1924). A laboratory study of fear: The case of Peter. Pedagogical Seminary, 31, 308315.
Levis, D. J. (1989). The case for a return to a two-factor theory of avoidance: The failure of non-fear interpretations. In Klein, S. B. & Mowrer, R. R. (Eds.), Contemporary learning theories: Pavlovian conditioning and the status of traditional learning theory (pp. 227277). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Liddell, H. S. (1966). The challenge of Pavlovian conditioning and experimental neuroses in animals. In Wolpe, J., Salter, A., & , L. J., Reyna, (Eds.), The conditioning therapies: The challenge in psychotherapy (pp. 127148). New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
Masserman, J. H. (1943). Behavior and neurosis. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Mowrer, O. (1939). A stimulus-response analysis of anxiety and its role as a reinforcing agent. Psychological Review, 46, 553565.
Öhman, A., Ericksson, A., & Olofsson, C. (1975). One-trial learning and superior resistance to extinction of autonomic responses conditioned to potentially phobic stimuli. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 88, 619627.
Pavlov, I. P. (1897). Lectures on the work of the principal digestive glands. St. Petersburg.
Pavlov, I. P. (1927). Conditioned reflexes. London: Oxford University Press.
Pavlov, I. P. (1930/1955). Selected works. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House.
Pavlov, I. P. (1932/1955). Selected works. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House.
Plaud, J. J., & Vavrovsky, K. G. (1998). Specific and social phobias. In Wodarski, J. & Thyer, B. (Eds.), Handbook of empirical social work practice (pp. 327341). New York: Wiley.
Plaud, J. J., & Vogeltanz, N. D. (1991). Behavior therapy: Lost ties to animal research? The Behavior Therapist, 14, 89-93, 115.
Plaud, J. J. (2001). Clinical science and human behavior. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 57, 10891102.
Seligman, M.E.P. (1971). Phobias and preparedness. Behavior Therapy, 2, 307320.
Shenger-Krestovnikova, N. R. (1921). Contributions to the physiology of differentiation of visual stimuli, and determination of limit of differentiation by the visual analyzer of the dog. Bulletin of Institute of Lesgaft, iii.
Watson, J. B., & Rayner, R. (1920). Conditioned emotional reactions. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 3, 114.
Wolpe, J. (1952). Experimental neuroses as learned behavior. British Journal of Psychology, 43, 243268.
Wolpe, J. (1954). Reciprocal inhibition as the main basis of psychotherapeutic effects. Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry, 72, 205226.
Wolpe, J. (1958). Psychotherapy by reciprocal inhibition. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Wolpe, J. (1989). The derailment of behavior therapy: A tale of conceptual misdirection. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 20, 315.
Wolpe, J. (1990). The practice of behavior therapy (4th ed.). New York: Pergamon Press.
Wolpe, J. (1996). When Pavlov forsook conditioning. Contemporary Psychology, 41, 103105.
Wolpe, J., & Plaud, J. J. (1997). Pavlov's contributions to behavior therapy: The obvious and the not so obvious. American Psychologist, 52, 966972.

Keywords

Pavlov and the Foundation of Behavior Therapy

  • Joseph J. Plaud (a1)

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed