Eyeblink startle responses in spider phobies before and after treatment: A pilot study

de Jong, P. J., Merckelbach, H. & Arntz, A., Sep-1991, In : Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment. 13, 3, p. 213-223 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Before and after treatment, acoustic probes eliciting eyeblink startles were presented to 41 female spider phobies during a behavioral approach test (BAT). During this test, subjects pulled a glass jar containing a live spider as nearby as they normally would tolerate. In order to obtain baseline startles, the subjects also carried out a BAT with a basket containing attractive food items. Startle responses were found to be relatively larger during the "spider" BAT than during the "food" BAT. This difference in relative magnitude decreased as a result of one-session treatment. The startle response appeared to be relatively independent of other outcome measures (i.e., Spider Questionnaire, BAT, and heart rate). Taken together, the results sustain findings previously reported by Lang and co-workers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-223
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep-1991


  • exposure, phobia, startle

ID: 36332884