Effect of vicarious fear learning on children's heart rate responses and attentional bias for novel animals

Article


Reynolds, G., Field, A. and Askew, C. 2014. Effect of vicarious fear learning on children's heart rate responses and attentional bias for novel animals. Emotion. 14 (5), pp. 995-1006. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0037225
TypeArticle
TitleEffect of vicarious fear learning on children's heart rate responses and attentional bias for novel animals
AuthorsReynolds, G., Field, A. and Askew, C.
Abstract

Research with children has shown that vicarious learning can result in changes to 2 of Lang’s (1968) 3 anxiety response systems: subjective report and behavioral avoidance. The current study extended this research by exploring the effect of vicarious learning on physiological responses (Lang’s final response system) and attentional bias. The study used Askew and Field’s (2007) vicarious learning procedure and demonstrated fear-related increases in children’s cognitive, behavioral, and physiological responses. Cognitive and behavioral changes were retested 1 week and 1 month later, and remained elevated. In addition, a visual search task demonstrated that fear-related vicarious learning creates an attentional bias for novel animals, which is moderated by increases in fear beliefs during learning. The findings demonstrate that vicarious learning leads to lasting changes in all 3 of Lang’s anxiety response systems and is sufficient to create attentional bias to threat in children.

Keywordschildhood anxiety; fear; vicarious learning; modeling
PublisherAmerican Psychological Association
JournalEmotion
ISSN1528-3542
Electronic1931-1516
Publication dates
Online25 Aug 2014
Print31 Oct 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited24 Apr 2015
Accepted13 May 2014
Output statusPublished
Publisher's version
Copyright Statement

© 2014 The Author(s)
This article has been published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Copyright for this article is retained by the author(s). Author(s) grant(s) the American Psychological Association the exclusive right to publish the article and identify itself as the original publisher.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1037/a0037225
Web of Science identifierWOS:000342502900016
LanguageEnglish
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