Title

Cognitive bias modification-attention: training at home with multiple sessions

Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Psychology

Abstract

"Anxiety disorders are the most frequently occurring psychiatric disorder in the United States (Beard, 2011). One type of treatment, Cognitive Bias Modification for Attention (CBM-A), has been shown to be an effective alternative for those who do not benifit other popular treatments (Ballinger, 2004). People with high levels of anxiety have a higher attention bias towards threatening information in the environment and CBM-A training works to reduce that attention bias towards threat, and in turn, reduce anxiety (Bar-Haim, 2010; Browning, Holmes, & Harmer, 2010; Hakamata, Y., Lissek, S., Bar-Haim, Y., Britton, J. C., Fox, N. A., Leibenluft, E., & ... Pine, D. S., 2010; Yiend & Mackintosh, 2004). However, it is unclear if CBM-A training is effective when completed outside of the controlled lab environment. The aim of this study was to further explore the possibilities of using multiple sessions of CBM-A in the home setting as a method of reducing attentional bias and trait anxiety. Participants consisted of 43 undergraduate psychology students at Eastern Washington University. Participants completed 6 daily sessions of CBM-A at home (or an equivalent control task), and their levels of anxiety were measured pre and post training in an on-campus lab setting. The results show a reduction in trait anxiety for those who received CBM-A training, but no indication of a change in attentional bias for either the control or experimental group regardless of the number of training sessions completed. Though the current study does lend some support to the idea that CBM-A training in the home environment may be helpful for reducing anxiety, further work is needed to explore how CBM-A training in the home can impact attention bias and what impeding its effectiveness as well as what tasks are appropriate for measuring an attention bias" --Leaf iv.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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