ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
 Volume 4, Issue 4, 341-359, 2013
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Interpretive Bias Modification for Disgust

Alexis E. Whitton(a), Jessica R. Grisham(a), Julie D. Henry(b) & Hector D. Palada(b)
(a) The University of New South Wales, Kensington NSW 2052 Australia
(b) The University of Queensland, Brisbane QLD 4072 Australia

Volume 4, Issue 4, 2013, Pages 341-359

Evidence suggests that cognitive bias modification paradigms (CBM-I) targeting interpretive biases can modify threat-based biases in anxious individuals, thereby reducing anxiety symptoms. However, no research to date has examined whether such paradigms can modify disgust-relevant biases. This is an important issue given evidence of disgust's role in a number of anxiety disorders. Sixty participants completed a computerised CBM-I task that trained either benign (n = 30) or disgust-based (n = 30) interpretive biases. The effects of training on the interpretation of novel material, behavioural avoidance, physiology, and self-reported symptoms were examined. Disgust-based, but not benign training increased self-reported disgust propensity, obsessive-compulsive symptoms and negative affect, from pre- to post-training, however, training did not affect the interpretation of novel material, behavioural or physiological responses. Results provide further evidence of disgust responses being particularly resistant to modification, and also highlight the need for CBM-I studies to include objective measures of emotional change in addition to self-report.

Table of Contents
CBM-I task.
Training items.
Recognition items.
Trait disgust, clinical symptoms and mood change.
Behavioural avoidance.
Physiological disgust responses.
CBM-I training & recognition
CBM-I effects on mood
CBM-I effects on clinical symptoms and trait disgust
CBM-I effects on behavioural avoidance
CBM-I effects on physiological disgust responses
CBM-I effects on self-reported disgust responses
Limitations and Conclusion
Conflict of interest
Role of the funding source
Appendix: Images used in the measurement of physiological disgust responses

Correspondence to
Alexis E. Whitton, School of Psychology, University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW, 2052, Australia.

Cognitive bias; interpretation bias; disgust; behavioural avoidance; facial electromyography; obsessive-compulsive disorder

Received 12 Apr 2012; Revised 15 Nov 2012; Accepted 31 Jan 2013; In Press 21 Jul 2013

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