The Role of Coping Self-Instructions Combined with Covert Modeling in Specific Fear Reduction

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Placebo, Modeling Condition, Cognitive Psychology, Great Change, Behavioral Measure

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The present investigation examined the role of coping self-instructions in the reduction of specific fear using a covert modeling paradigm. A covert modeling condition (CM), in which subjects imagined a model approaching, handling, and coping successfully with feared snakes, was compared to a group presented with an imagined model coping effectively with snakes while self-instructing fear-reduction strategies (CMS). An attention placebo control group (AC) was included to control for therapist contact. The results indicated that the CMS group produced greater change on self-report measures than the CM and AC groups. The CMS and CM groups did not differ on the behavioral measure. The CM group was significantly different from the AC group on behavioral but not self-report measures. These findings suggest that the addition of self-instructions to covert modeling enhances its effectiveness in reducing cognitive components of fear.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Cognitive Therapy and Research, v. 6, issue 2, p. 185-190