Domain-specific and generalized disgust sensitivity in blood-injection-injury phobia:The application of behavioral approach/avoidance tasks

Michelle D. Koch, H. Katherine O'Neill, Craig N. Sawchuk, Kevin Connolly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

The separate and combined roles of fear and disgust in mediating phobic responding in blood-injection-injury (BII) phobia have generated considerable empirical interest. The present study aimed to replicate previous research regarding fear and disgust responding to phobia-relevant and generalized disgust elicitors, as well as to provide a novel examination of performance on behavioral approach/avoidance tasks (BATs) and the 'contaminated cookie' procedure (i.e., willingness to eat a cookie after it has come into brief contact with a threat-relevant stimulus). Fear and disgust responses toward pictures (mutilation, insects) and in vivo stimuli (bloody gauze, severed deer leg, cockroach, worm) were assessed in a sample of analogue BII phobics and nonphobics. Consistent with previous research, BII phobics expressed significantly greater fear and disgust toward phobia-relevant pictures and BAT stimuli, with disgust being the dominant emotional response. We failed to find any between-group differences on disgust responding toward the generalized disgust pictures and BAT stimuli. Results from the BATs suggest that BII phobics were less willing to perform all tasks involving blood stimuli, and less willing to complete the latter stages of the insect BATs. BII phobics were less likely to eat the 'contaminated cookie' after it had come into contact with only the insect stimuli. Future implications for research examining domain-specific and generalized disgust sensitivity in BII phobia are outlined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)511-527
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of anxiety disorders
Volume16
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 6 2002

Keywords

  • BATs
  • Blood-injection-injury phobia
  • Disgust sensitivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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