Watts - cognitive explanation

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  • Watts (cognitive explanation)
    • to find out if phobic participants would attend more to words or pictures relating to their phobia compared to non-phobics
    • participants with arachnophobia and non-phobic participants
    • given variations of the stroop task
      • had to name the ink colour of spider-related words or, in another variation, spider-related images
    • arachnophobics took significantly longer to name the ink colours for the spider related items
      • suggests that people with phobias have a cognitive bias whereby they selectively attend to items related to their phobia, making them more anxious than others

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