The therapeutic effects of five types of modeling on snake-phobic women

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jon Roy Standahl (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Herbert Wells

Abstract: The main purpose of this experiment was to determine whether a condition in which snake phobic Ss observed models behaving initially fearfully and terminally fearlessly towards a snake would produce greater fear reduction in observers than a condition in which the models’ behavior toward this snake was both initially and terminally fearless. Five groups of 21 snake-phobic female college students watched one of five "therapeutic" three-minute movies. Before and after watching the movie, each S was requested by way of audio tape to see how close she could get to a harmless live snake and to rate her fear level when she was as close to the snake as she felt she could get. In one movie three separate female models approached and handled the snake in a fearless manner; in a second movie the three models behaved fearfully toward the snake and never handled it; in a third movie the three models approached and handled the snake in a fearful manner but became fearless; in a fourth movie the three models were initially fearless but became fearful after touching the snake; in the fifth movie (the control condition) the three models engaged in non-snake-related activity. After a three-week interval, Ss who had not watched a movie in which the models were terminally fearless of the snake were shown one of the two such movies and again requested to approach the snake. The extent to which the models accurately portrayed the intended conditions was determined both by the phobic Ss and by independent movie raters.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1972
Phobias $x Treatment

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