ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
 Volume 7, Issue 1, 49-71, 2016
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Role of Fear Domain Match and Baseline Bias in Interpretation Training for Contamination Fear

  Jessica Beadel - University of Virginia
  Fiona Ritchey - University of Virginia
  Bethany Teachman - University of Virginia

Volume 7, Issue 1, 2016, Pages 49-71

Cognitive Bias Modification for anxious interpretations (CBM-I) is a computerized training program designed to reduce threatening interpretations of ambiguous information. In addition to testing the efficacy of CBM-I for contamination fear on various cognitive outcomes and emotional vulnerability, the current study examined whether the content of CBM-I must match a person’s fear domain to be efficacious, and examined the moderating role of preexisting interpretation bias on CBM-I’s efficacy. Participants (n = 121) high in contamination fear were assigned to one session of either CBM-I focused on contamination fear content, CBM-I focused on height fear content, or a sham control condition. Planned contrasts indicated that fear domain match does tend to enhance CBM-I’s effects: compared to the heights condition, those in the contamination training condition improved on five of the eight cognitive bias-related variables, though there was no change on measures of emotional vulnerability. In contrast, there was little difference between the heights training and sham conditions. Minimal evidence was found for baseline interpretation bias as a moderator. Results support the use of CBM-I that matches the fear domain of the participant, regardless of baseline bias level.

Table of Contents
 Importance of fear domain match
 Importance of pre-existing interpretation bias
 Importance of various cognitive outcomes
  Baseline Symptom Measure
  Training Contamination-Relevant Interpretation Biases
  Training Effects on Contamination Fear-relevant Cognitive Outcomes
  Modification of Measures
  Evaluating the Effect of Training on Responses to Contamination-Relevant Stressors
 Sample characteristics
 Impact of fear domain match and pre-existing interpretation bias on effects of CBM-I.
 Results Overview
 Limitations and Conclusion
Appendix A: Ambiguous Scenario Training and Recognition Ratings (Adapted from Mathews & Mackintosh, 2000)

Correspondence to
Jessica R. Beadel at the University of Virginia, P.O. Box 400400, Charlottesville, VA 22904.

cognitive bias modification; interpretation bias; anxiety controllability; contamination fear

Received 13 Aug 2014; Revised 15 Feb 2015; Accepted 4 Jun 2015; In Press 3 Apr 2016

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