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Psychological topics, Vol.22 No.2 September 2013. -

With decreasing threat ambiguity and increasing threat imminence, human psychophysiological responses can be mapped onto a defensive continuum that distinguishes between the states of general anxiety, cued anxiety, and fear. The present study aimed to investigate whether self–reported physiological, cognitive, behavioral and attentional responses can also distinguish between cued anxiety and fear. Healthy participants N=141 received 9 situational scripts 3 prototypical scripts per phase of the defensive continuum each followed by 22 responses. They indicated how likely they would display each response in the described situation. The results of an INDCLAS–analysis indicated that the distinction between -cued anxiety- and -fear- can be made on the basis of self–reported responses. Responses typical for fear situations were -fear of dying- -breathing faster-, and -feeling of choking-. Cued anxiety situations evoked -accelerated heart rate- -to startle- -sharpened senses- -tense muscles- and -sweating-. This finding may contribute to constructing an easy tool to distinguish cued anxiety and fear in both clinical and experimental contexts.

human defensive behavior; anxiety; fear; self–report; psychophysiological responses

Author: Meike Pappens - ; Department of Psychology, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium Laurence Claes - ; Department of Psychology, Un

Source: http://hrcak.srce.hr/


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