Using humor in systematic desensitization to reduce fear

Citation
Wl. Ventis et al., Using humor in systematic desensitization to reduce fear, J GEN PSYCH, 128(2), 2001, pp. 241-253
Citations number
24
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Psycology
Journal title
JOURNAL OF GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY
ISSN journal
0022-1309 → ACNP
Volume
128
Issue
2
Year of publication
2001
Pages
241 - 253
Database
ISI
SICI code
0022-1309(200104)128:2<241:UHISDT>2.0.ZU;2-T
Abstract
Effectiveness of systematic desensitization for fear reduction, using humor ous hierarchy scenes without relaxation, was tested. Participants were 40 s tudents highly fearful of spiders. Using a 24-item behavioral approach test with an American tarantula, participants were matched on fear level and ra ndomly assigned to I of 3 treatment groups: (a) systematic desensitization, (b) humor desensitization, and (c) untreated controls. Each participant wa s seen for 6 sessions, including pretest and posttest. Analyses of covarian ce of posttest scores revealed that the 2 treatment groups showed greater r eduction in fear than the controls on 3 measures but did not differ from ea ch other. Therefore, humor in systematic desensitization reduced fear as ef fectively as more traditional desensitization. This finding may have therap eutic applications; however, it may also be applicable in advertising to de sensitize fear of a dangerous product, such as cigarettes.