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Effects of vicarious learning on childhood fear acquisition and fear reversal

Askew, C, Reynolds, G and Field, AP (2014) Effects of vicarious learning on childhood fear acquisition and fear reversal In: The British Psychological Society Developmental Section Annual Conference, 2014-09-03 - 2014-09-05, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

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Objectives: Lang (1968) demonstrated three human anxiety response systems: verbal-cognitive, behavioural avoidance and physiological. Two experiments investigated the effects of vicarious learning (modelling) on children’s responses in each of these systems. Method: 141 children (7-11 years) saw pictures of novel animals together with adult faces expressing fear. Children’s fear beliefs, behavioural preferences, behavioural avoidance, heart rate and attentional bias for the animals were measured. Children in the second study experienced the same initial procedure but then saw the animals again with happy faces (counterconditioning). Results: Increases in fear beliefs, avoidance, heart rate, and attentional bias were detected following fear vicarious learning. In the second study, responses returned to baseline following positive vicarious counterconditioning. Conclusions: Fear vicarious learning leads to increases in children’s responses in each of Lang’s anxiety systems, but these changes can be reversed using positive modelling. The findings have implications for our understanding of the development and treatment of fear.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Conference Paper)
Subjects : Psychology
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
Askew, C
Reynolds, G
Field, AP
Date : 3 September 2014
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2014 The British Psychological Society
Contributors :
ContributionNameEmailORCID British Psychological Society,
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 16 Nov 2016 14:10
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 18:56

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