Peter F. Lovibond's research while affiliated with University of South Wales and other places

Publications (105)

Article
A challenge for generalization models is to specify how excitation generated from a CS+ (i.e., positive evidence) should interact with inhibition from a CS- (i.e., negative evidence) to produce generalized responding. Empirically, many generalization phenomena are consistent with the monotonicity principle, which states that additional positive evi...
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One of the many strengths of the Rescorla and Wagner (1972) model is that it accounts for both excitatory and inhibitory learning using a single error-correction mechanism. However, it makes the counterintuitive prediction that nonreinforced presentations of an inhibitory stimulus will lead to extinction of its inhibitory properties. Zimmer-Hart an...
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The Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS; Lovibond and Lovibond, 1995b ) is a set of psychometrically sound scales that is widely used to assess negative emotional states in adults. In this project, we developed the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales for Youth (DASS-Y) and tested its psychometric properties. Data were collected from 2,121 Australia...
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Inhibitory learning after feature negative training (A+/AB-) is typically measured by combining the Feature B with a separately trained excitor (e.g., C) in a summation test. Reduced responding to C is taken as evidence that B has properties directly opposite to those of C. However, in human causal learning, transfer of B's inhibitory properties to...
Article
Learning of cue-outcome relationships in associative learning experiments is often assessed by presenting cues without feedback about the outcome and informing participants to expect no outcomes to occur. The rationale is that this "no-feedback" testing procedure prevents new learning during testing that might contaminate the later test trials. We...
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Punishment maximises the probability of our individual survival by reducing behaviours that cause us harm, and also sustains trust and fairness in groups essential for social cohesion. However, some individuals are more sensitive to punishment than others and these differences in punishment sensitivity have been linked to a variety of decision-maki...
Preprint
Learning of cue-outcome relationships in associative learning experiments is often assessed by presenting cues without feedback about the outcome and informing participants to expect no outcomes to occur. The rationale is that this “no-feedback” testing procedure prevents new learning during testing that might contaminate the later test trials. We...
Article
Full-text available
We have previously reported that human participants trained with a simultaneous feature negative discrimination (intermixed A+ / AB- trials) show only modest transfer of inhibitory properties of the feature B to a separately trained excitor in a summation test (Lee & Lovibond, 2021). Self-reported causal structure suggested that many participants l...
Preprint
Full-text available
Punishment maximises the probability of our individual survival by reducing behaviours that cause us harm, and also sustains trust and fairness in groups essential for social cohesion. However, some individuals are more sensitive to punishment than others and these differences in punishment sensitivity have been linked to a variety of decision-maki...
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Full-text available
Traditional associative learning theories predict that training with feature negative (A+/AB-) contingencies leads to the feature B acquiring negative associative strength and becoming a conditioned inhibitor (i.e., prevention learning). However, feature negative training can sometimes result in negative occasion setting, where B modulates the effe...
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Pavlovian conditioning studies have shown that humans can generalize conditioned fear to novel stimuli that are categorically related to the threat cue, despite perceptual dissimilarities. The current work examined the role of trait anxiety in the generalization of fear to categorically related objects. Items from 1 category, breakfast or bakery, w...
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Two experiments examined whether extinction of a generalization stimulus (GS) after single cue fear conditioning would in turn generalize to other stimuli, relative to a control group that received regular extinction of CS+ itself. We found only a weak effect of such “generalization of GS extinction” either back to CS+ or to a different GS, on eith...
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Generalization of learning can arise from two distinct sources: failure to discriminate a novel test stimulus from the trained stimulus, and active extrapolation from the trained stimulus to the test stimulus despite them being discriminable. We investigated these two processes in a predictive learning task by testing stimulus discriminability (ide...
Preprint
When generalizing properties from known to novel instances, both positive evidence (instances known to possess a property) and negative evidence (instances known not to possess a property) must be integrated. The current study compared generalization based on positive evidence alone against a mixture of positive evidence and perceptually dissimilar...
Article
In property induction tasks, encountering a diverse range of instances (e.g., hippos and hamsters) with a given property usually increases our willingness to generalise that property to a novel instance, relative to non-diverse evidence (e.g., hippos and rhinos). Although generalisation in property induction and predictive learning tasks share conc...
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Full-text available
In property induction tasks, encountering a diverse range of instances (e.g., hippos and hamsters) with a given property usually increases our willingness to generalize that property to a novel instance, relative to non-diverse evidence (e.g., hippos and rhinos). Although generalization in property induction and predictive learning tasks share conc...
Article
Future-directed intentions elicit emotional changes that may affect behavioral performance. We have previously shown that avoidance intentions can elicit a reduction in anxiety (Ng & Lovibond, 2017). In the present experiment, we manipulated within-participant self-efficacy for an avoidance behavior to determine whether self-efficacy moderates the...
Article
Full-text available
When generalizing properties from known to novel instances, both positive evidence (instances known to possess a property) and negative evidence (instances known not to possess a property) must be integrated. The current study compared generalization based on positive evidence alone against a mixture of positive evidence and perceptually dissimilar...
Article
Trait anxiety has been widely accepted as a vulnerability factor for the development of anxiety disorders. However, few studies have examined how trait anxiety may affect fear generalisation, which is believed to be a core feature of anxiety disorders. Using a single-cue conditioning paradigm, the current study found a range of discrete generalisat...
Article
Two experiments explored the role of verbalisable rules in generalisation of human differential fear conditioning with electric shock as the aversive stimulus. Two circles of different sizes served as conditioned stimuli (CS+ and CS-), before testing with a range of circle sizes. In Experiment 1, shock expectancy ratings followed a peak-shifted uni...
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Two experiments tested whether a peak-shifted generalization gradient could be explained by the averaging of distinct gradients displayed in subgroups reporting different generalization rules. Across experiments using a causal judgment task (Experiment 1) and a fear conditioning paradigm (Experiment 2), we found a close concordance between self-rep...
Article
Fear generalisation refers to the spread of conditioned fear to stimuli similar but distinct from the original conditioned stimulus. In this study, participants were presented with repeated pairings of a conditioned stimulus with a shock, in either a single-cue or differential conditioning paradigm. Generalisation of fear was then tested by present...
Article
Intentions prospectively correlate with behaviour (e.g., Ajzen, 1991) but there is little research on whether they play a role in regulating emotion. Two experiments investigated whether avoidance intentions, mediated by expectancy, play a role in reducing anxiety. In Experiment 1, participants performed either an instrumental avoidance response th...
Article
Reward cues contribute to overconsumption of food and drugs and can lead to relapse. The failure of exposure therapies to reduce overconsumption and relapse is generally attributed to the context-specificity of extinction. However, no previous study has examined whether cue-elicited reward-seeking (as opposed to cue-reactivity) is sensitive to cont...
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Objective To translate and evaluate the psychometric properties of an Arabic-language version of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS). Method The items were translated, back translated, refined, and tested in an Australian immigrant sample ( N = 220). Results Confirmatory factor analysis showed that the Arabic DASS discriminates between de...
Article
In the Perruchet effect, there is a concurrent dissociation between participants’ conditioned responses (CRs) and their expectancy of the unconditioned stimulus (US) across runs of repeated trials. The effect has been taken as evidence for multiple learning processes, but this conclusion follows only if the CR trend is the result of learning. Two e...
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Can conditioning occur without conscious awareness of the contingency between the stimuli? We trained participants on two separate reaction time tasks that ensured attention to the experimental stimuli. The tasks were then interleaved to create a differential Pavlovian contingency between visual stimuli from one task and an airpuff stimulus from th...
Article
Intolerance of Uncertainty (IU) has gained increasing interest as a vulnerability factor for worry in Generalized Anxiety Disorder and other emotional disorders. We extended the procedure of Grupe and Nitschke (2011) to compare threat processing in High IU (n=. 29) and Low IU (n=. 26) participants. Participants viewed four cues: two reference cues...
Article
Reward-associated cues are thought to promote relapse after treatment of appetitive disorders such as drug-taking, binge eating, and gambling. This process has been modelled in the laboratory using a Pavlovian-instrumental transfer (PIT) design in which Pavlovian cues facilitate instrumental reward-directed action. Attempts to reduce facilitation b...
Article
Much of contemporary associative learning research is focused on understanding how and when the associative history of cues affects later learning about those cues. Very little work has investigated the effects of the associative history of outcomes on human learning. Three experiments extended the "learned irrelevance" paradigm from the animal con...
Article
Generalization of conditioned fear has been implicated in the maintenance and proliferation of fear in anxiety disorders. The role of cognitive processes in generalization of conditioning is an important yet understudied issue. Vervliet et al. (2010) tested generalization of fear to a visual stimulus of a particular color and shape paired with elec...
Article
Background and Objectives Excessive generalisation of fear learning has recently been implicated in the development and maintenance of anxiety disorders such as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Evidence is growing to suggest that cognitive processes such as rule-abstraction may be involved in fear generalization. In a study by Vervliet et al (2010),...
Article
Learning may play an important role in over-eating. One example is Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer (PIT), whereby reward cues facilitate responding to obtain that reward. While there is increasing research indicating PIT for food in humans, these studies have exclusively tested PIT under instrumental extinction (i.e. when the food is no longer a...
Article
Numerous studies indicate that placebo analgesia can be established via conditioning procedures. However, these studies have exclusively involved conditioning under continuous reinforcement. Thus, it is currently unknown whether placebo analgesia can be established under partial reinforcement and how durable any such effect would be. We tested this...
Chapter
Evidence from both empirical studies and clinical practice indicates that substantial reductions in pain can be observed following placebo treatment. Generally, these effects are attributed to expectancy and/or classic conditioning. However, other psychological processes that could bias the observed responses to placebo treatment may lead to a syst...
Article
Reward-associated cues are known to influence motivation to approach both natural and man-made rewards, such as food and drugs. However, the mechanisms underlying these effects are not well understood. To model these processes in the laboratory with humans, we developed an appetitive Pavlovian-instrumental transfer procedure with a chocolate reward...
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Single-cue delay eyeblink conditioning is presented as a prototypical example of automatic, nonsymbolic learning that is carried out by subcortical circuits. However, it has been difficult to assess the role of cognition in single-cue conditioning because participants become aware of the simple stimulus contingency so quickly. In this experiment (n...
Article
In laboratory contingency learning tasks, people usually give accurate estimates of the degree of contingency between a cue and an outcome. However, if they are asked to estimate the probability of the outcome in the presence of the cue, they tend to be biased by the probability of the outcome in the absence of the cue. This bias is often attribute...
Article
Re-exposure to the unconditioned stimulus (US) following fear extinction in the laboratory produces reinstatement of fear. Similarly in clinical situations, anxiety patients may experience adverse events that reinstate fear following successful exposure therapy. The current study employed two USs, shock and loud noise, to examine whether a US that...
Article
Cues that reliably predict an outcome in an initial phase of training (Phase 1) are learned faster in a second phase of training (Phase 2) than cues that were unreliable in Phase 1. This result is observed despite objectively equal relationships between the cues and the outcomes in Phase 2, and consequently constitutes a nonnormative bias in learni...
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Two experiments examined competition between an instrumental avoidance response and a Pavlovian safety signal for association with omission of electric shock in a human fear conditioning paradigm. Self-reported shock expectancies and skin conductance responses were consistent with blocking of learning of the instrumental contingency by prior traini...
Article
Squire and colleagues have proposed that trace and delay eyeblink conditioning are fundamentally different kinds of learning: trace conditioning requires acquisition of a conscious declarative memory for the stimulus contingencies whereas delay conditioning does not. Declarative memory in trace conditioning is thought to generate conditioned respon...
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Squire et al. have proposed that trace and delay eyeblink conditioning procedures engage separate learning systems: a declarative hippocampal/cortical system associated with conscious contingency awareness, and a reflexive sub-cortical system independent of awareness, respectively (Clark and Squire, 1998; Smith et al., 2005). The only difference be...
Chapter
Traditionally, it has been assumed that associative learning is carried out by a low-level, reflexive, unconscious system, and accordingly associative explanations of clinical disorders have focused on irrational aspects of those disorders. However, research on human associative learning suggests that it depends critically on high-level, propositio...
Article
Despite their widespread use, many self-report mood scales have very limited normative data. To rectify this, Crawford et al. have recently provided percentile norms for a series of self-report scales. The present study aimed to extend the work of Crawford et al. by providing percentile norms for additional mood scales based on samples drawn from t...
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In 3 experiments, we examined Perruchet, Cleeremans, and Destrebecqz's (2006) double dissociation of cued reaction time (RT) and target expectancy. In this design, participants receive a tone on every trial and are required to respond as quickly as possible to a square presented on 50% of those trials (a partial reinforcement schedule). Participant...
Article
A laboratory autonomic conditioning procedure was used to establish fear conditioning in human participants by pairing neutral stimuli with electric shock. Participants were also trained to make a button-press response to avoid shock. A target fear stimulus was then extinguished by presenting it without shock. The experimental group was given the o...
Article
In this response, we provide further clarification of the propositional approach to human associative learning. We explain why the empirical evidence favors the propositional approach over a dual-system approach and how the propositional approach is compatible with evolution and neuroscience. Finally, we point out aspects of the propositional appro...
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The past 50 years have seen an accumulation of evidence suggesting that associative learning depends on high-level cognitive processes that give rise to propositional knowledge. Yet, many learning theorists maintain a belief in a learning mechanism in which links between mental representations are formed automatically. We characterize and highlight...
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P. Perruchet (1985b) showed a double dissociation of conditioned responses (CRs) and expectancy for an airpuff unconditioned stimulus (US) in a 50% partial reinforcement schedule in human eyeblink conditioning. In the Perruchet effect, participants show an increase in CRs and a concurrent decrease in expectancy for the airpuff across runs of reinfo...
Article
A laboratory model was developed to study human avoidance learning. Participants could avoid an electric shock signalled by a 5-s conditioned stimulus (CS) by pressing one of a set of response buttons. Self-reported shock expectancy and skin conductance were recorded during a subsequent 10-s interval before shock. Shock expectancy declined when the...
Article
Pilot research has suggested that D-cycloserine (DCS) enhances treatment outcomes for anxiety disorders when employed as an adjunct to exposure therapy (ET). The aim of this study was to determine whether 50 mg of DCS enhances ET for social anxiety disorder (SAD) according to a comprehensive set of symptom and life impairment measures. In a randomi...
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The relationship between flavor evaluative conditioning and contingency awareness was examined intwo experiments using flavored drinks. In Experiment 1, one flavor was always paired with sugar and the other with bitter tween (polysorbate20) during conditioning. In a subsequent test phase, participants tasted the two flavors, and their evaluative ra...
Article
Previous research [Hofmann SG, Meuret AE, Smits JA, Simon NM, Pollack MH, Eisenmenger K, et al. Augmentation of exposure therapy for social anxiety disorder with D-cycloserine. Archives of General Psychiatry 2006;63:298-304; Ressler KJ, Rothbaum BO, Tannenbaum L, Anderson P, Graap K, Zimand E, et al. Cognitive enhancers as adjuncts to psychotherapy...
Article
Previous research has shown that D-cycloserine (DCS) facilitates extinction of Pavlovian fear conditioning in rats and enhances exposure therapy in humans. The aim of this study was to test the effect of DCS on extinction of fear conditioning in humans. In three experiments, 238 participants were given either DCS (50 or 500 mg) or placebo 2-3 h bef...
Article
The associative view of human causal learning argues that causation is attributed to the extent that the putative cause activates, via an association, a mental representation of the effect. That is, causal learning is a human analogue of animal conditioning. We tested this associative theory using a task in which a fictitious character suffered fro...
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This study investigated the extent to which children’s negative information processing biases are pervasive across the cognitive modalities of attention, judgment, and memory and, further, whether such biases are specifically associated with anxiety, depression, and/or aggression. 133 children between the ages of 8 and 14years were assessed on an a...
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This study explored whether the structure of negative affect in children is similar to that previously found in adults (S. H. Lovibond & P. F. Lovibond, 1995). A sample of 577 7–14-year-old children completed a 76-item questionnaire designed to measure anxiety, depression, and tension/stress, comprising both exploratory items and the full item cont...
Article
Although most extinction research is conducted in animal laboratories, the study of extinction learning in human fear conditioning has gained increasing attention over the last decade. The most important findings from human fear extinction are reviewed in this article. Specifically, we review experimental investigations of the impact of conditioned...
Article
Thirty-nine university students monitored their naturally occurring worry episodes for 7 days. They rated each episode in terms of six cognitive content categories, labeled Negative Outcome Anticipation, Problem-Solving Process, Solution Selection, Self-Blame, Rumination, and Palliative Thoughts. The results reinforced previous findings that a larg...
Article
In two "allergist" causal judgement experiments, participants were trained with a blocking design (A+|AB+). The procedure allowed different food cues to be paired with different fictitious allergic reactions. On test, participants were asked to rate the causal efficacy of the target cues and to recall the particular allergic reaction (outcome) that...
Article
It has been suggested that causal learning in humans is similar to Pavlovian conditioning in animals. According to this view, judgments of cause reflect the degree to which an association exists between the cause and the effect. Inferential accounts, by contrast, suggest that causal judgments are reasoning based rather than associative in nature. W...
Article
In an allergist causal-judgment task, food compounds were followed by an allergic reaction (e.g., AB+), and then 1 cue (A) was revalued. Experiment 1, in which participants who were instructed that whatever was true about one element of a causal compound was also true of the other, showed a reverse of the standard retrospective revaluation effect....
Article
We have recently demonstrated that pre-training of additivity (the outcome of two causal cues is larger than one causal cue) greatly enhances blocking. This manipulation could work by removing a ceiling effect on the outcome, as proposed by Cheng (1997). Alternatively, it could remove the logical ambiguity associated with blocking under non-additiv...
Article
To investigate the role of somatic items in the assessment of depression in chronic pain. The Self-Rating Depression Scale was administered to 398 individuals with chronic pain, 313 psychology clinic patients with similar overall levels of depression, and a general population sample of 491. All three samples were also administered the Depression An...
Article
We investigated the cognitive content of worry in 8- to 13-year-old clinic-referred anxious (n = 38) and nonreferred (n = 51) children. The children were interviewed individually. They thought-listed their latest worry episodes, rated the uncontrollability of the episodes, and reported on the strategies they used to terminate worry. Content analyse...
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Human conditioning research shows that learning is closely related to consciously available contingency knowledge, requires attentional resources, and is influenced by language. This research suggests a cognitive model in which extinction consists of changes in contingency beliefs in long-term memory. Laboratory and clinical evidence on extinction...
Article
Individuals with Social Phobia (SP) (n = 23) and Panic Disorder (n = 22), and a non-anxious comparison (NAC) group (n = 62) rated the probability and cost of negative outcomes in the physical and the social domains. Overall, participants rated physical events as less probable but more costly than social events. Compared to the non-anxious group, pa...
Article
When a neutral stimulus is paired with a stimulus that has strong affective properties, these properties often appear to be transferred to the neutral stimulus. This learning has been termed evaluative conditioning. In two experiments, participants first learned the ‘meanings’ of four non-words. Two of these meanings were affectively positive, and...
Article
The author tested causal beliefs and conditioned responses in a task involving retrospective revaluation of the causal status of a target cue with respect to electric shock. Successful revaluation was observed on both self-report shock expectancy and skin conductance, whether the training trials were directly experienced, described, or partly exper...
Article
The author tested causal beliefs and conditioned responses in a task involving retrospective revaluation of the causal status of a target cue with respect to electric shock. Successful revaluation was observed on both self-report shock expectancy and skin conductance, whether the training trials were directly experienced, described; or partly exper...
Article
Blocking was observed in two human Pavlovian conditioning studies in which colour cues signalled shock. Both forward (Experiment 1) and backward (Experiment 2) blocking was demonstrated, but only when prior verbal and written instructions suggested that if two signals of shock (A+ and B+) were presented together, a double shock would result (AB++)....
Article
Fifty-seven participants were selected to represent a wide range on the dimension of worry proneness. They monitored and listed their worrisome thoughts in a diary for 7 days, and rated the uncontrollability of each recorded worry episode. Content analysis revealed that 48% of worrisome thoughts could be categorized as reflecting a problem-solving...
Article
This article reviews research over the past decade concerning the relationship between Pavlovian conditioning and conscious awareness. The review covers autonomic conditioning, conditioning with subliminal stimuli, eyeblink conditioning, conditioning in amnesia, evaluative conditioning, and conditioning under anesthesia. The bulk of the evidence is...
Article
S. Wiens and A. Ohman (2002) disputed the conclusion that Pavlovian conditioning is strongly related to contingency awareness (P. F. Lovibond & D. R. Shanks, 2002) on the basis that an inappropriate definition of awareness was used. J. R. Manns, R. E. Clark, and L. R. Squire (2002) contended that delay eyeblink conditioning is independent of awaren...
Article
S. Wiens and A. Ohman (see record 2002-00340-002) disputed the conclusion that Pavlovian conditioning is strongly related to contingency awareness (P. F. Lovibond & D. R. Shanks, see record 2002-00340-001) on the basis that an inappropriate definition of awareness was used. J. R. Manns, R. E. Clark, and L. R. Squire (see record 2002-00340-003) cont...
Article
In a near miss experience, a person learns anxiety despite the fact that the feared outcome does not actually occur. Theories based on S-R links or direct encoding of emotional memories do not provide a good model of near miss learning because they fail to account for informational variables. An alternative cognitive model is outlined, based on...
Article
Two experiments examined the ability of an added stimulus to interfere with extinction of a target excitatory fear stimulus (a predictor of shock) in human autonomic conditioning. Both experiments demonstrated disruption of extinction when the added stimulus was inhibitory (a predictor of no shock, or safety signal). Subjects showed a return of fea...
Article
Final-year high school students completed the Multidimensional Perfectionism scale and the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scales (DASS) 10 weeks (n = 673) and again 10 days (n = 505) before a major set of examinations. Symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress were elevated on both test occasions, with more than 20% of the sample falling into the...
Article
Forty-eight dependent injecting amphetamine users (AUs) and 48 controls were exposed to an amphetamine-related video and three affective control videos, and their amphetamine-related responses (amphetamine symptoms, withdrawal symptoms, and for AUs, "positive" and "negative" craving, based on the desire for positive and negative reinforcement, resp...
Article
At Time 1, 3,540 participants completed the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS). At Time 2, 3 to 8 years later, the DASS was readministered to 882 of these participants. There was strong evidence for selective stability of the syndromes of depression, anxiety, and stress. Each Time 2 scale was best predicted by the same scale at Time 1, with no...
Article
The illusory correlation paradigm of Tomarken, Mineka, and Cook (1989) was used to examine bias in threat appraisal for biological (snake, spider) and technological (gun, knife) fear-relevant stimuli. Subjects showed bias in terms of higher on-line shock expectancy ratings and skin conductance responses, and higher post-experimental judgements of s...