The conceptual overlap between cognition and conditioning in clinical psychology

Ronald M. Rapee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


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such as memory and expectancies, classifying clinical theories as either cognitive or conditioned appears to be outdated.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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-203
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Psychology Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'The conceptual overlap between cognition and conditioning in clinical psychology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this