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Title page for ETD etd-07182011-105032

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Paxton, Megan Viar
Author's Email Address megan.viar-paxton@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-07182011-105032
Title The Effect of Context on Disgust Habituation: Implications for the Treatment of Blood-Injection-Injury Phobia
Degree Master of Arts
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Bunmi Olatunji Committee Chair
David Cole Committee Member
Jo-Anne Bachorowski Committee Member
  • disgust
  • exposure
  • phobia
  • blood
  • injection
Date of Defense 2011-07-13
Availability unrestricted
Growing evidence has implicated disgust in the etiology and maintenance of some anxiety-related disorders, particularly blood-injection-injury (BII) phobia. However, much remains unknown about the role of disgust in exposure-based treatment of these anxious conditions. The present investigation examines the effect of varying the context in which disgust is presented during repeated exposure on habituation among nonclinical (Study 1) and analogue BII phobic (Study 2) samples. After repeated video presentations of disgust stimuli (vomiting), findings from Study 1 revealed no group differences between a single context and a multiple context group from pre to post repeated exposure or during the subsequent presentation of a novel disgust context. However, individuals in the multiple context condition showed reductions in anxiety and disgust responding to the novel disgust context at a one-week follow-up. Results from Study 2 revealed no differences in responding to post- repeated disgust exposure blood draw videos or a novel blood draw video among BII phobics in the single disgust context compared to those in the multiple disgust context condition. Assessment of physiological responding did show some beneficial effects of the multiple disgust context manipulation on arousal in both studies. Implications of these findings for better understanding the role of disgust in the treatment of anxiety-related disorders are discussed.
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