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Autonomic mechanisms in spider phobia reactions

Archer, Leanne M 1996 , 'Autonomic mechanisms in spider phobia reactions', Coursework Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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A strong fear of spiders is classified as a Specific Phobia, Animal Type
(American Psychiatric Association, 1994). A number of theories have
been suggested as to how this fear develops and how it is expressed in the
physiological realm. This review addresses these issues. Systematic
desensitisation has been the treatment of choice for phobias for some
time. Issues concerning group administration of this procedure are
discussed, as are a number of studies into physiological reflections of
treatment success. Respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) has been widely
accepted as a measure of vagal tone in psychophysiological studies. This
review outlines a current theory that explores the physiology of RSA
and why it does not always respond in concert with heart rate. The
potential implications of the RSA measure for psychophysiology and
psychology as a whole are also discussed, as are a number of different
variables which can affect the quantification of the RSA measure. The
review concludes with an investigation into the possibility of using the
RSA measure to specify the nature of the physiological mechanisms of
specific phobia, both in terms of the strength of phobic response and also
in terms of modifications due to a treatment program.

Item Type: Thesis - Coursework Master
Authors/Creators:Archer, Leanne M
Keywords: Phobias, Fear
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1996 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Includes bibliographical references. Thesis (M.Psych.)--University of Tasmania, 1996

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