Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatr
The publication of the book Psychotherapy by Reciprocal Inhibition (1958) by the co-founding editor of this Journal, Joseph Wolpe, marked a major change in the understanding and treatment of mental disorders. The book used principles from empirical behavioral science to explain psychopathological phenomena and the resulting explanations were critically tested and used to derive effective treatments. The second half of the 20th century saw this rigorous scientific approach come to fruition. Experimental approaches to psychopathology, in particular those used to test conditioning theories and cognitive theories, have steadily expanded, and experimental analysis of processes characterising and maintaining mental disorders have become an established research area. It is in this scientific tradition that the journal welcomes empirical contributions to the understanding and treatment of psychopathology. Such contributions may stem from various theoretical perspectives, such as learning theory, cognitive science, social psychology, developmental psychology, etc. The Journal primarily focuses on experimental tests of psychological approaches to mental disorders, though contributions from biology and / or non-experimental disciplines like epidemiology may be occasionally published. Papers to be published generally focus on: Differences between specific patient groups and other groups; Mechanisms that cause or perpetuate disorders; and finally; Diagnostic and therapeutical procedures; Participants in the studies may be patients, healthy subjects or animals, depending on the relevance of the subject characteristics for the question to be answered. Innovative case studies, and especially case series, and the results of pilot and interim tests will continue to be welcomed by the journal. To emphasise the Aims and Scope of the Journal, a new subtitle will be used from 2000 onwards: "A Journal of Experimental Psychopathology". This indicates that the study of mental disorders is a multidisciplinary enterprise that draws on medical, behavioral and social approaches. It also expresses the importance of the use of experimental methods in the field of psychopathology.
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