Journal article

It was as big as my head, I swear!. Biased spider size estimation in spider phobia

Vasey M, Vilensky M, Heath J, Harbaugh C, Buffington A, Fazio R ...see all

Journal of Anxiety Disorders, vol. 26, issue 1 (2012) pp. 20-24

  • 58


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 24


    Citations of this article.
Sign in to save reference


The current study tested the association between fear and perception in spider phobic individuals (n= 57) within the context of a treatment outcome study. Participants completed 5 post-treatment Behavioral Approach Tasks (BATs) in which they encountered a live spider and were asked to provide spider size estimates. Consistent with predictions, results indicated that high levels of fear were associated with magnified perception of phobic stimuli. Specifically, we found a significant positive correlation between size estimates and self-reported fear while encountering spiders. Together with previous findings, these results further support the notion that fear is involved in the encoding and processing of perceptual information. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Cognitive bias
  • Perceptual distortion
  • Phobias

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Get full text


  • Michael W. Vasey

  • Michael R. Vilensky

  • Jacqueline H. Heath

  • Casaundra N. Harbaugh

  • Adam G. Buffington

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free