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Example Answer for Question 9 Paper 2: AS Psychology, June 2017 (AQA)

AS, A Level

Last updated 22 May 2017

Section B - Psychopathology

Question 9: Briefly Discuss [2 Marks] - Flooding vs. Systematic Desensitisation

Suggested Answer: One reason that systematic desensitisation might be more successful than flooding is because the treatment is gradual.

With systematic desensitisation, a person is gradually exposed to their phobia starting with the least anxiety-inducing stimulus (at the bottom of the fear hierarchy) working their way up the hierarchy step-by-step, while remaining relaxed. With flooding, a person is exposed to the most anxiety-inducing stimulus straight away. Consequently, many people do not complete their treatment with flooding because the experience to too stressful and therefore they stop the treatment early which is why systematic desensitisation is more likely to be successful. 

Please Note: These answers have been produced without the knowledge of the mark scheme and merely reflect my attempt at producing a model answer on the day of the exam. These answers are not endorsed or approved by AQA.


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