- Stability of cognitive bias for threat cues in phobia.
- Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment
- Volume | Issue number
- 20 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
This study examined whether the cognitive bias for threat is a stable phenomenon in 20 spider phobics (mean age 32.5) and not in 24 nonphobic controls (mean age 36.5). The rationale of this study was that the use of emotional bias for individual assessment in clinical practice requires stability of this phenomenon. In order to assess the stability of the emotional bias, the spider Stroop task was administered twice to spider phobics and controls, with a time lag of 3 weeks. In two experiments, spider phobics and controls were selected on basis of a structured interview. In the second experiment, Ss anticipated exposure to a real-life spider. Emotional bias was inferred from color-naming latencies on spider words vs control words. In line with the prediction, the bias for threat was stable in spider phobic individuals but not in controls. This stability could not be attributed to a general cognitive characteristic because a standard Stroop task did not differentiate between the spider phobics and the controls. The results support the view that cognitive processing of threat in anxiety is stable. It is proposed to use both the emotional bias and its stability as measures of the constraints on the flexibility of the cognitive fear-network.
- go to publisher's site
If you believe that digital publication of certain material infringes any of your rights or (privacy) interests, please let the Library know, stating your reasons. In case of a legitimate complaint, the Library will make the material inaccessible and/or remove it from the website. Please Ask the Library, or send a letter to: Library of the University of Amsterdam, Secretariat, Singel 425, 1012 WP Amsterdam, The Netherlands. You will be contacted as soon as possible.