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date: 28 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter first reviews early learning theories of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This section highlights the role of classical and operant conditioning, as these forms of conditioning are the basis for many of the contemporary theories of PTSD and still shape a preponderance of thought on the nature of the disorder. Yet, as is pointed out, these conditioning models fail to account for some of the complexities seen in PTSD. The next section reviews alternative conceptualizations regarding new learning theory models, information-processing models, and emotional processing models, forming the basis for more contemporary thought. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of challenges in the conceptualization of trauma exposure and PTSD symptoms.

Keywords: acute stress disorder, classical conditioning, emotion, memory, posttraumatic stress disorder, psychological models, theory, trauma exposure

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