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Attentional bias modification in virtual reality
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Clinical psychology.
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2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Introduction: It has been theorised that attentional biases (sensitivity and hypervigilance towards threat-related information) may play a causal role in the aetiology and maintenance of dysfunctional anxiety. Attentional bias modification (ABM) aims to directly modify the underlying attentional biases implicated in anxiety disorders, and consequently reduce anxiety symptoms.

We conducted two studies that examined the effectiveness of ABM training programs in reducing attentional bias and anxiety. Both programs were delivered via virtual reality (VR) technology. Study 1 utilised a traditional dot-probe ABM, and Study 2 utilised a Person Identity Match (PIM) ABM. In addition to the comparison of two different ABM programs, the studies also investigated whether the use of 3 dimensional stimuli has an impact on the outcome of the ABM training.

Methods:

Study 1

One hundred participants with elevated anxiety scores (LSAS > 30) were randomly assigned to 4 groups:

1. ABM with 2D stimuli (n = 25)2. Mock-ABM with 2D stimuli (n = 25)3. ABM with 3D stimuli (n = 25)4. Mock-ABM with 3D stimuli (n = 25)

The participants first completed questionnaires that measured their anxiety and other factors of interest. After which the participants completed 100 trials of a dot-probe task to measure their pre-training attentional bias. The participants then completed 360 trials of ABM training. Following ABM, the participants carried out post-training bias measurement and anxiety measurement. Finally, the participants answered follow-up questionnaires 1 week and 3months after the ABM training.

Study 2

Study 2 shares the exact same design as Study 1, but utilised a different version of ABMtraining.

Results: Data analysis is currently ongoing and results are pending. The change in attentional bias and anxiety are the primary outcome measures. Both within-group comparisons (pre-training vs. post-training) and between-group comparisons (ABM vs. mock; 2D vs 3D; Dot-probe vs. PIM) will be carried out. Some preliminary results will be presented at the conference.

Conclusions: Pending

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. 18-18 p.
Keyword [en]
attentional bias, ABM, dysfunctional anxiety, VR, virtual reality
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-149193OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-149193DiVA: diva2:1158611
Conference
9th Swedish Congress on internet interventions (SWEsrii), Linköping, Sweden, November 3, 2017
Available from: 2017-11-20 Created: 2017-11-20 Last updated: 2017-11-27Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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