Effect of vicarious fear learning on children's heart rate responses and attentional bias for novel animals

Reynolds, Gemma, Field, Andy P and Askew, Chris (2014) Effect of vicarious fear learning on children's heart rate responses and attentional bias for novel animals. Emotion, 14 (5). pp. 995-1006. ISSN 1528-3542

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Abstract

Research with children has shown that vicarious learning can result in changes to 2 of Lang's (1968) 3 anxiety response systems: subjective report and behavioral avoidance. The current study extended this research by exploring the effect of vicarious learning on physiological responses (Lang's final response system) and attentional bias. The study used Askew and Field's (2007) vicarious learning procedure and demonstrated fear-related increases in children's cognitive, behavioral, and physiological responses. Cognitive and behavioral changes were retested 1 week and 1 month later, and remained elevated. In addition, a visual search task demonstrated that fear-related vicarious learning creates an attentional bias for novel animals, which is moderated by increases in fear beliefs during learning. The findings demonstrate that vicarious learning leads to lasting changes in all 3 of Lang's anxiety response systems and is sufficient to create attentional bias to threat in children.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
Depositing User: Lene Hyltoft
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2015 09:37
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2017 09:48
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/55933

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