Title page for ETD etd-04192011-123723

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Jenkins, Whitney Shay
Author's Email Address wjenki2@tigers.lsu.edu
URN etd-04192011-123723
Title Assessing Attentional Bias and Cerebral Laterality in Specific Phobia Using a Dichotic Listening Paradigm
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Davis III, Thompson E. Committee Chair
Gouvier, William D. Committee Member
Hicks, Jason L. Committee Member
  • anxiety
  • memory
  • attention
  • specific phobia
Date of Defense 2011-01-19
Availability unrestricted
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 biasóbias 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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