Master of Arts (MA)
Researchers have found fear to impact a variety of cognitive variables in individuals with specific phobia. Attentional bias is a cognitive variable that has received considerable attention in the specific phobia literature; however, the existing literature follows only one line of attentional bias—bias as encoded through images, words, or other content presented visually. This study aimed to expand on this area by assessing attention and cerebral laterality in individuals with specific phobia using a dichotic listening paradigm (i.e., via auditory means). Results indicated that participants with specific phobias do not significantly differ from controls in terms of the number of threat-related words endorsed overall; however, groups did differ on channel (i.e., left vs. right ear) used. Participants with specific phobias were more likely to select stimuli corresponding to the left channel than control participants. This difference was due to their increased recognition of threat-related stimuli through the left channel. Implications and limitations of this study are also discussed.
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Jenkins, Whitney Shay, "Assessing attentional bias and cerebral laterality in specific phobia using a dichotic listening paradigm" (2011). LSU Master's Theses. 3561.
Davis III, Thompson E.