Attentional biases in college-age adults with spider fears

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dc.contributor Conners, Frances A.
dc.contributor Barth, Joan M.
dc.contributor.advisor Jarrett, Matthew A. Rapport, Hannah Frea 2017-03-01T17:12:39Z 2017-03-01T17:12:39Z 2014
dc.identifier.other u0015_0000001_0001745
dc.identifier.other Rapport_alatus_0004M_12157
dc.description Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
dc.description.abstract There has been a growing literature on an attentional bias to threat in anxious individuals. This bias has been shown in individuals with social phobia and generalized anxiety disorder, but it is unclear if such a bias appears in other anxiety disorders such as specific phobias (SPs). Initial evidence indicates that individuals with SPs appear to demonstrate an attentional bias towards the object they fear; however, it has not yet been examined if the attentional bias seen in individuals with SPs is limited to the specific feared stimulus or other threatening stimuli. In order to address this question, the current study evaluated college-age adults with elevated spider fears. Participants completed two separate dot-probe tasks. One task involved spider stimuli and the other task involved threatening faces. In addition to within-subject differences in task performance, spider fear severity and social fear severity were examined in relation to biases. It was predicted that participants would show a greater degree of attentional bias towards spiders than threatening faces; however, those with higher levels of social anxiety were expected to show a greater attentional bias towards threatening faces and those with higher spider fear severity were expected to show a greater bias towards spiders. Results from the present study did not support this hypothesis. While results did indicate a significant difference between the spider dot-probe task and the faces dot-probe task and a significant attentional bias towards faces, results indicated that there was not generally an attentional bias towards or away from spiders. The implications of these findings are discussed.
dc.format.extent 37 p.
dc.format.medium electronic
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher University of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Libraries Digital Collections
dc.relation.hasversion born digital
dc.rights All rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subject.other Clinical psychology
dc.title Attentional biases in college-age adults with spider fears
dc.type thesis
dc.type text University of Alabama. Dept. of Psychology Psychology The University of Alabama master's M.A.

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