Associative learning in flying phobia

Vriends, Noortje and Michael, Tanja and Schindler, Bettina and Margraf, Jürgen. (2012) Associative learning in flying phobia. Journal of behavior therapy and experimental psychiatry, 43 (2). pp. 838-843.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6001536

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Background and objectives: Modern learning theories suggest that particularly strong associative learning contributes to the etiology and maintenance of anxiety disorders, thus explaining why some individuals develop an anxiety disorder after a frightening (conditioning) event, whereas others do not. However, associative learning has rarely been investigated experimentally in specific phobias. The current study investigated associative learning in patients with flying phobia and healthy controls using a modified version of Olson and Fazio’s associative learning paradigm (Olson & Fazio, 2001). Methods:Under the guise of an attention task, patients with flying phobia (n = 33), and healthy controls (n = 39) viewed a series of distracters interspersed with pairings of novel objects (counterbalancedconditioned stimuli, CSs) with frightening and pleasant stimuli (unconditioned stimuli, USs). Results:After the conditioning procedure patients with flying phobia rated both CSs more frightening and showed stronger discrimination between the CSs for valence compared to healthy controls. Conclusions:Our findings indicate a particularly stronger conditioning effect in flying phobia. These results contribute to the understanding of the etiology of specific phobia and may help to explain why only some individuals develop a flying phobia after an aversive event associated with flying.
Faculties and Departments:07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Ehemalige Einheiten Psychologie > Abteilung Klinische Psychologie und Psychiatrie
07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Ehemalige Einheiten Psychologie > Klinische Psychologie und Psychiatrie (Stieglitz)
07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Society & Choice > Allgemeine Psychologie und Methodologie (Opwis)
UniBasel Contributors:Vriends, Noortje and Margraf, Jürgen and Michael, Tanja
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:16 Mar 2018 13:48
Deposited On:11 Oct 2012 15:20

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