ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
 Volume 8, Issue 1, 13-39, 2017
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The Role of Positive Affect in Enhancing Extinction Learning and Exposure Therapy for Anxiety Disorders

  Tomislav Zbozinek - University of California, Los Angeles, Department of Psychology
  Michelle Craske - University of California, Los Angeles, Department of Psychology

Volume 8, Issue 1, 2017, Pages 13-39

Although exposure is a valid treatment for anxiety disorders, efforts are being made to improve its overall effectiveness. The present article discusses one potential method of optimizing extinction learning and exposure therapy: increasing positive affect. The effect of positive affect on learning is discussed in regards to various components of learning, including attention, encoding, rehearsal, consolidation, retrieval, and stimulus valence. These effects are then discussed specifically with extinction learning and exposure therapy. The authors conclude that increasing positive affect during exposures may enhance exposure therapy via various these learning mechanisms but that this awaits further testing.

Table of Contents
Aim 1: Review the Literature on the Effects of Positive Affect on Learning and Memory, and Propose Mechanisms Through Which Positive Affect May Affect Extinction Learning and Exposure.
 1.1 Attention and Positive Affect
 1.2 Attention and Extinction
 1.3 Attention and Exposure
 2.1 Encoding and Positive Affect
 2.2 Encoding and Extinction
 2.3 Encoding and Exposure
 3.1 Rehearsal and Positive Affect
 3.2 Rehearsal and Extinction
 3.3 Rehearsal and Exposure
 4.1 Consolidation and Positive Affect
 4.2 Consolidation, Extinction, and Exposure
 5.1 Retrieval and Positive Affect
 5.2 Retrieval and Extinction
 5.3 Retrieval and Exposure
 6.1 Stimulus Valence and Positive Affect
 6.2 Stimulus Valence and Extinction
 6.3 Stimulus Valence and Exposure
 7.1 Summary of Positive Affect and General Learning
 7.2 Summary of Positive Affect, Extinction, and Exposure
 8.1 Discussion
Aim 2: Make Recommendations for Future Research Examining the Effects of Positive Affect on Extinction Learning and Exposure.
 9.1 Future Directions
 10.1 Conclusions

Correspondence to
Tomislav D. Zbozinek, M.A., Department of Psychology, University of California, 1285 Franz Hall, Los Angeles, California 90095

positive affect; extinction; exposure therapy; learning; memory

Received 17 Nov 2015; Revised 27 Jun 2016; Accepted 6 Jul 2016; In Press 16 Apr 2017

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