Disgust- and anxiety-based emotional reasoning in non-clinical fear of vomiting

Verwoerd, J., van Hout, W. J. P. J. & de Jong, P. J., Mar-2016, In : Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry. 50, p. 83-89 7 p.

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  • Disgust- and anxiety-based emotional reasoning in non-clinical fear

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Background and objectives Emotional reasoning has been described as a dysfunctional tendency to use subjective responses to make erroneous inferences about threatening outcomes in objectively safe situations (e.g., ”If I feel anxious/disgusted, there must be danger/risk of becoming ill”). Prior studies found evidence for anxiety-based emotional reasoning (ER) in several anxiety disorders as well as disgust-based ER in healthy individuals scoring above the clinical cut-off on a measure of contamination fear. The current study tested whether disgust- and anxiety-based ER might be involved in fear of vomiting, a phobic disorder in which both fear/anxiety and disgust are assumed to play an important role. Methods Non-clinical participants scoring high (>75%; n = 35) and low (<25%; n = 38) on a measure of fear of vomiting were presented with a series of scripts describing objectively safe everyday situations that systematically varied in the absence/presence of the actor's disgust/anxiety response. Following each script, participants rated their perceived danger and threat of contamination/illness. Results In line with hypotheses, specifically high vomit-fearful individuals used experienced disgust and anxiety to overestimate risk of becoming ill. Follow up analyses taking into account shared variance between both emotions revealed that more pronounced ER in the high vomit fearful group was mainly driven by the emotion of disgust. Limitations Current study asked participants to imagine experienced emotions in scenarios instead of experimentally inducing real-life emotions. Conclusions These findings are consistent with the view that disgust-based ER is involved in fear of vomiting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-89
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - Mar-2016

ID: 20814947