Reducing attention bias in spider fear by manipulating expectancies

Abado, Elinor; Sagi, Jasmine; Silber, Nir; De Houwer, Jan; Aue, Tatjana; Okon-Singer, Hadas (2020). Reducing attention bias in spider fear by manipulating expectancies. Behaviour research and therapy, 135, p. 103729. Elsevier 10.1016/j.brat.2020.103729

[img]
Preview
Text
1-s2.0-S0005796720301832-main.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works (CC-BY-NC-ND).

Download (634kB) | Preview

The present series of studies examines the causal interaction between expectancy and attention biases in spider fear. Previous studies found that a-priori expectancy does not affect attention bias toward spiders, as measured by detection of spider targets in a subsequent visual search array compared to detection of bird targets (i.e. neutral targets) that appeared equally often. In the present series of studies, target frequency was manipulated. Targets were preceded by a verbal cue stating the likelihood that a certain target would appear. The aim was to examine whether manipulation of expectancies toward either target affects attention bias. In Experiment 1, birds appeared more frequently than spiders. Among a representative sample of the student population, attention bias toward spiders was significantly reduced. Experiment 2 replicated these results with both low- and high-fearful participants. In Experiment 3, spiders appeared more frequently than birds. Attention bias was reduced among low- and high-fearful groups, but not as strongly as the reduction in Experiments 1 and 2. These results suggest that target salience plays a role in attention bias, in competition with expectancy. To our knowledge, this is the first study to show that varying expectancy can reduce attention bias, most importantly in high fear.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > PSY-Weitere Forschungsgruppen

UniBE Contributor:

Aue, Tatjana

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology

ISSN:

0005-7967

Publisher:

Elsevier

Funders:

[UNSPECIFIED] Israel Science Foundation

Projects:

[UNSPECIFIED] grant# 823/18

Language:

English

Submitter:

Tatjana Aue

Date Deposited:

22 Sep 2020 16:48

Last Modified:

27 Sep 2020 02:51

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.brat.2020.103729

Uncontrolled Keywords:

spider phobia, attention, expectancy, bias, cognitive factors

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.146552

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/146552

Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback