Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Biased attention toward threat has been demonstrated across anxiety disorders as well as among nonclinical samples. While such studies have produced findings of attentional bias for fear-related or threatening stimuli, other types of emotionally laden stimuli have been ignored. This study sought to examine the experience and impact of disgust on individuals experiencing various types of anxiety, which may play a more significant role than fear in some disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and some specific phobias. Specifically, this study examined self-reported disgust and attentional bias in relation to disgust and threatening stimuli. A modified dot-probe task with pictorial stimuli was administered to participants endorsing fears of spiders, blood and injections, or contamination as well as participants reporting no such fears. Results indicated that each anxiety group endorsed more disgust than those without anxiety. Further, no group differed from another in regards to vigilance-avoidance, orienting, or disengaging; however, gender differences emerged on the orienting and disengagement indices. Overall, a pattern of delayed disengagement was evidenced across all groups. The results of this study help inform etiological and maintenance factors of anxiety.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Davis III, Thompson E.

Included in

Psychology Commons