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Psychology Glossary

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Counterconditioning



Counterconditioning:

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Counterconditioning is a type of therapy based on the principles of classical conditioning that attempts to replace bad or unpleasant emotional responses to a stimulus with more pleasant, adaptive responses. For example, do you remember the case of Little Albert - the boy that John Watson conditioned to fear little white rats? Well, if Watson attempted to "uncondition" the fear response to the rats, he would be engaging in counterconditioning - attempting to replace the unpleasant response (fear) to the rats with a more pleasant response (happiness).