Given the fact that contemporary theories of conditioning regularly utilise information processing concepts such as memory and expectancies, classifying clinical theories as either cognitive or conditioned appears to be outdated. Yet, this dichotomy is still upheld in many clinical writings. Such a false dichotomy seems to serve more of a political function than a theoretical one and thus is likely to interfere with a complete understanding of psychopathology. While the terms conditioning and cognition are often used to imply unconscious learning on the one hand versus conscious, rational learning on the other, this usage is not consistent. A more empirically useful way to describe pathological behavior may be in terms of the amount of attentional resources utilised.