| Volume 6, Issue 1, 112-125, 2015 |
|Return to Issue List |
| Active Approach Does not Add to the Effects of in Vivo Exposure|
| Sophie van Uijen - Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands.|
| Marcel van den Hout - Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands.|
| Iris Engelhard - Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands.|
|Volume 6, Issue 1, 2015, Pages 112-125|
|In exposure therapy, anxiety patients actively approach feared stimuli to violate their expectations of danger and reduce fear. Prior research has shown that stimulus evaluation and behavior are reciprocally related. This suggests that approach behavior itself may decrease fear. This study tested whether approach behavior adds to the beneficial effects of exposure. Spider fearful women were randomly assigned to one of three groups: repeated exposure to a spider by pulling a cart with a jar containing the spider toward them (Exposure + approach) or by having the experimenter do this (Exposure only), or no exposure. Exposure decreased self-reported and behavioral spider fear, compared to no exposure. The decrease was similar for exposure with and without the approach manipulation. No effects were found on affective priming. Our results did not show an added effect of approach by pulling a feared stimulus toward you to exposure. However, the mere visual impression of approach, and/or the decision to approach may have reduced fear. |
|Table of Contents|
Spider Anxiety Screening (“Spinnenangst screening”; SAS).
Fear of spiders questionnaire (FSQ).
Disgust scale revised (DS-R).
Behavioral approach test (BAT).
Affective priming task (APT).
Word and picture evaluation task.
Participant Characteristics and Baseline Differences
Exposure Trials: Time Course of Effects and Perceived Control
|Sophie L. van Uijen, Heidelberglaan 1, 3584 CS Utrecht, the Netherlands. |
|Approach behavior, Spider phobia, Fear, Exposure and response prevention (ERP), Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) |
|Received 18 Mar 2014; Revised 30 Jul 2014; Accepted 4 Aug 2014; In Press 5 Apr 2015 |