Date Approved

2008

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

Committee Member

Ellen Koch, Ph.D., Chair

Committee Member

Renee Lajiness-O’Neill, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Dennis Delprato, Ph.D.

Abstract

Unlike the empirically supported phenomenon of anxiety-induced selective processing bias, research on congruent explicit memory bias is inconclusive; indeed, there is evidence for recall decrements of threat-relevant information. There is also a paucity of literature examining the effects of treatment on these cognitive biases. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine the effect of exposure treatment on selective processing and explicit memory bias in snake- and spider-fearful participants by measuring implicit and explicit memory for central and peripheral environmental details. Recall for environmental details in a fearful group that received treatment was compared to a fearful group that did not receive treatment and to a non-fearful control group to evaluate the presence of selective processing bias, explicit memory bias, and the effect of treatment on these phenomena. Results indicated no implicit or explicit memory biases in any participant group. There was, however, the presence of significant memory deficits, specifically for peripheral details, in fearful participants who did not receive treatment.

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Psychology Commons

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