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Avoidance learning: a review of theoretical models and recent developments.

Krypotos AM, Effting M, Kindt M, Beckers T - Front Behav Neurosci (2015)

Bottom Line: Avoidance is a key characteristic of adaptive and maladaptive fear.We highlight clinical implications of avoidance learning theories and describe intervention strategies that could reduce maladaptive avoidance and prevent its return.We end with a brief overview of recent developments and avenues for further research.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Amsterdam Amsterdam, Netherlands ; Amsterdam Brain and Cognition, University of Amsterdam Amsterdam, Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
Avoidance is a key characteristic of adaptive and maladaptive fear. Here, we review past and contemporary theories of avoidance learning. Based on the theories, experimental findings and clinical observations reviewed, we distill key principles of how adaptive and maladaptive avoidance behavior is acquired and maintained. We highlight clinical implications of avoidance learning theories and describe intervention strategies that could reduce maladaptive avoidance and prevent its return. We end with a brief overview of recent developments and avenues for further research.

No MeSH data available.


Number of publications indexed in Thomson Reuters' Web of Science, research area psychology, that have the word “avoidance” in their title, by year, 1955–2014 (as of May 12, 2015).
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Figure 1: Number of publications indexed in Thomson Reuters' Web of Science, research area psychology, that have the word “avoidance” in their title, by year, 1955–2014 (as of May 12, 2015).

Mentions: Given the key role of avoidance in normal and disordered psychological functioning, it is critical to better understand the relevant conditions and psychological mechanisms responsible for the learning of avoidant reactions. Alas, although avoidance learning was once a central topic in basic psychological research, interest has waned since the 1970's, leaving important questions unanswered. Only recently has there been a resurgence of theoretical, experimental and clinical interest in the study of avoidance (see Figure 1). In the last years, new psychological theories of avoidance learning have been proposed (e.g., De Houwer et al., 2005; Lovibond, 2006) and avoidance is quickly becoming a topic of prime empirical interest not only in experimental psychology but also in clinical psychology and psychiatry as well as in behavioral neuroscience (see the present special issue). The latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013) includes avoidance in several diagnostic criteria that previously referred to fear only. In parallel, recent years have brought rapid increases in our understanding of the brain processes involved in the learning (e.g., Delgado et al., 2009), expression (e.g., Cominski et al., 2014), and reduction (e.g., McCue et al., 2014) of avoidance behavior.


Avoidance learning: a review of theoretical models and recent developments.

Krypotos AM, Effting M, Kindt M, Beckers T - Front Behav Neurosci (2015)

Number of publications indexed in Thomson Reuters' Web of Science, research area psychology, that have the word “avoidance” in their title, by year, 1955–2014 (as of May 12, 2015).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4508580&req=5

Figure 1: Number of publications indexed in Thomson Reuters' Web of Science, research area psychology, that have the word “avoidance” in their title, by year, 1955–2014 (as of May 12, 2015).
Mentions: Given the key role of avoidance in normal and disordered psychological functioning, it is critical to better understand the relevant conditions and psychological mechanisms responsible for the learning of avoidant reactions. Alas, although avoidance learning was once a central topic in basic psychological research, interest has waned since the 1970's, leaving important questions unanswered. Only recently has there been a resurgence of theoretical, experimental and clinical interest in the study of avoidance (see Figure 1). In the last years, new psychological theories of avoidance learning have been proposed (e.g., De Houwer et al., 2005; Lovibond, 2006) and avoidance is quickly becoming a topic of prime empirical interest not only in experimental psychology but also in clinical psychology and psychiatry as well as in behavioral neuroscience (see the present special issue). The latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013) includes avoidance in several diagnostic criteria that previously referred to fear only. In parallel, recent years have brought rapid increases in our understanding of the brain processes involved in the learning (e.g., Delgado et al., 2009), expression (e.g., Cominski et al., 2014), and reduction (e.g., McCue et al., 2014) of avoidance behavior.

Bottom Line: Avoidance is a key characteristic of adaptive and maladaptive fear.We highlight clinical implications of avoidance learning theories and describe intervention strategies that could reduce maladaptive avoidance and prevent its return.We end with a brief overview of recent developments and avenues for further research.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Amsterdam Amsterdam, Netherlands ; Amsterdam Brain and Cognition, University of Amsterdam Amsterdam, Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
Avoidance is a key characteristic of adaptive and maladaptive fear. Here, we review past and contemporary theories of avoidance learning. Based on the theories, experimental findings and clinical observations reviewed, we distill key principles of how adaptive and maladaptive avoidance behavior is acquired and maintained. We highlight clinical implications of avoidance learning theories and describe intervention strategies that could reduce maladaptive avoidance and prevent its return. We end with a brief overview of recent developments and avenues for further research.

No MeSH data available.