Attentional bias and spider phobia: conceptual and clinical issues

Behav Res Ther. 1993 Jan;31(1):17-24. doi: 10.1016/0005-7967(93)90038-v.


Experimental evidence indicates that anxious subjects show an attentional bias for threat-relevant information. Foa and McNally (1986) (Cognitive Therapy and Research, 10, 477-485) and Watts et al. (1986) (British Journal of Psychology, 77, 97-108) reported that behaviour therapy can eliminate this attentional bias. A replication study was carried out in order to increase the evidence for exposure being the crucial component in reducing attentional bias. Moreover, in this study some conceptual and clinical issues are explored. The theoretical and clinical implications of the results are discussed.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Arousal
  • Association Learning
  • Attention*
  • Bias
  • Desensitization, Psychologic / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Implosive Therapy
  • Personality Inventory
  • Phobic Disorders / psychology
  • Phobic Disorders / therapy*
  • Spiders*