The term behavior therapy has been in use for no more than 30 years, having been introduced to mark a Kuhnian revolution (Barnes, 1982; Kuhn, 1959, 1970, 1974) in the prevailing theories of neurosis (Eysenck, 1959, 1960, 1964). At the time, the prevailing paradigm was a Freudian, psychodynamic one, and it may be argued that since then there has been a paradigm shift of fundamental importance to psychiatry and clinical psychology (Eysenck, 1985, 1987). This paradigm shift from Freud to Pavlov, from psychotherapy to behavior therapy, from emotional insight learning to Pavlovian extinction and deconditioning, is in large part based on the recognition that Freudian theory has essentially failed to produce methods of treatment superior to placebo treatment, or even to no treatment at all (Eysenck, 1952; Hattie, Sharpley, & Rogers, 1984; Prioleau, Mardock, & Brody, 1983; Rachman & Wilson, 1980). Meta-analysis (Shapiro & Shapiro, 1982; Smith, Glass, & Miller, 1980) has been suggested to provide evidence in favor of the effectiveness of psychotherapy, but the method itself has been severely criticized (Eysenck, 1983; Matt & Wittman, 1985; Searles, 1985) and in any case Smith, Glass, and Miller completely failed to show that any of the theories examined (with the exception of behavior therapy) had any specific effects, that is, effects traceable to the special theory on which the therapy was based.


Behavior Therapy Pavlovian Conditioning Evaluative Conditioning Conditioning Theory Incubation Effect 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. J. Eysenck
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of PsychiatryLondonEngland

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