School of Psychological Science

Postgraduate Profiles

Contact

Alea Losch

Phone: (+61 4) 3074 6473


Start date

Feb 2010

Submission date

Feb 2013

Alea Losch

Thesis

Individual differences in patterns of attentional selectivity to feared stimuli, and their functional contribution to specific fear symptomatology.

Summary

There has been extensive research looking at the cognitive basis of the disposition to experience anxiety in general in the normal population, with robust evidence of individuals with an elevated disposition to experiencing anxiety showing an attentional bias to emotionally negative information (MacLeod & Rutherford, 1992). Furthermore, it has been found that this attentional bias causally contributes to the anxiety symptomatology (MacLeod, Rutherford, Campbell, Ebsworthy, & Holker, 2002). In comparison, there is very little research to date which has looked at the cognitive basis of the disposition to specific fears in the normal population, and no research has looked at the causal contribution of attentional patterns of selectivity to the symptomatology characterising specific fears. The present research program aims to investigate these unknown areas of research.

Why my research is important

This research is among the first in the world to investigate the hypothesis that attentional vigilance for feared stimuli may causally contribute to the intensity of the fear response exhibited by people who harbour specific fears (including, but not restricted to, spider fear).


 

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