Title

Autonomic nervous system changes associated with a spider phobic reaction

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Tested the theory that autonomic nervous system arousal increases during a phobic reaction. 11 spider phobics and 11 nonphobics (female undergraduates) viewed spider, seascape, and surgical slides while several physiological responses were continuously recorded. Spider phobics showed significantly faster heart rate, greater heart-rate variability, and vasoconstriction during spider slide presentations than nonphobics. Spider phobics also showed more frequent phasic skin responses but not larger skin response amplitudes to spider slides. Respiration rate and respiration amplitude were not significantly different for the 2 groups. It appears that while a general autonomic nervous system arousal occurs during a spider-phobic reaction, the demand characteristics of the phobic situation seem to determine which physiological responses are most affected. (22 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved). © 1974 American Psychological Association.

Publication Date

4-1-1974

Publication Title

Journal of Abnormal Psychology

ISSN

0021843X

Volume

83

Issue

2

First Page

169

Last Page

177

PubMed ID

4825212

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1037/h0036476

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