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Fear makes you stronger: Responding to feared animal targets in visual search
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Social Work and Psychology, Psychology.
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Social Work and Psychology, Psychology.
Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck University of London, London, UK . (The Affective and Cognitive Control Lab)
2012 (English)In: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, ISSN 1943-3921, E-ISSN 1943-393X, Vol. 74, no 7, p. 1437-1445Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

To investigate whether fear affects the strength with which responses are made, 12 animal-fearful individuals (five snake fearful and seven spider fearful) were instructed to decide as quickly as possible whether an animal target from a deviant category was present in a 3 × 4 item (animal) search array. The animal categories were snakes, spiders, and cats. Response force was measured, in newtons. The results showed that the strength of the response was greater when the feared animal served as the target than when it served as the distractors. This finding was corroborated by evoked heart rate changes to the stimuli. Our findings strengthen the argument that focused attention on a single, feared animal can lead to increases in manual force.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Publishing Company, 2012. Vol. 74, no 7, p. 1437-1445
Keywords [en]
Motor control – Visual search – Selective attention
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-12882DOI: 10.3758/s13414-012-0336-6ISI: 000308949900007Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84866527429OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-12882DiVA, id: diva2:552248
Available from: 2012-09-13 Created: 2012-09-13 Last updated: 2018-03-13Bibliographically approved

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Flykt, AndersLindeberg, Sofie

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