Evidence for an encounter expectancy bias in fear of spiders.

Aue, Tatjana; Hoeppli, Marie-Eve (2012). Evidence for an encounter expectancy bias in fear of spiders. Cognition and emotion, 26(4), pp. 727-736. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group 10.1080/02699931.2011.602241

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Whereas research has demonstrated that phobic or fearful individuals overestimate the likelihood of incurring aversive consequences from an encounter with feared stimuli, it has not yet been systematically investigated whether these individuals also overestimate the likelihood (i.e., the frequency) of such encounters. In the current study, spider-fearful and control participants were presented with background information that allowed them to estimate the overall likelihood that different kinds of animals (spiders, snakes, or birds) would be encountered. Spider-fearful participants systematically overestimated the likelihood of encountering a spider with respect to the likelihood of encountering a snake or a bird. No such expectancy bias was observed in control participants. The results thus strengthen our idea that there indeed exist two different types of expectancy bias in high fear and phobia that can be related to different components of the fear response. A conscientious distinction and examination of these two types of expectancy bias are of potential interest for therapeutic applications.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Psychological and Behavioral Health

UniBE Contributor:

Aue, Tatjana

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

0269-9931

Publisher:

Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group

Funders:

[4] Swiss National Science Foundation

Language:

English

Submitter:

Tatjana Aue

Date Deposited:

24 Aug 2015 11:16

Last Modified:

24 Oct 2019 08:44

Publisher DOI:

10.1080/02699931.2011.602241

PubMed ID:

21957987

Uncontrolled Keywords:

encounter expectancy bias, spider phobia, fear

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.71221

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/71221

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