Modern Psychological Studies
1 & 2
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
Studies have suggested that visual stimuli evoking positive emotions may counter the effects of negative emotions. A high level of involvement in a distracting task may reduce the severity of negative emotions. This study combined visual stimuli with level of mental involvement to determine if they had an effect on fear. It was posited that two types of visual stimuli—amusing and spatial—would lower fear, and a high level of involvement with each stimulus would enhance this effect. The stimuli were delivered over the Internet. Fear level was measured using the self-report for the word "afraid" from PANAS. A significant interaction between type of stimulus and level of involvement was found, p = .05. The results may indicate that spatial concentration without mental verbalization decreases fear level. Viewing amusing stimulus may also reduce fear, but this may only be true when it is viewed passively. The effect of fear reduction may be reduced when the person elaborates about the amusing stimulus using language.
BF1 .M63 v. 9 no. 1 & 2 2003
Dixon, Gregory E.
"Stimulating fear reduction: visual stimulus, verbal and spatial concentration and their effects on fear,"
Modern Psychological Studies: Vol. 9
, Article 2.
Available at: http://scholar.utc.edu/mps/vol9/iss1/2