Ellen I. Koch

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. C. Richard Spates

Second Advisor

Dr. Lester Wright

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This study evaluated the effectiveness of an in vivo, one-session exposure procedure modified from that described by Lars-Goran Ost for the treatment of small animal phobias. This study also assessed the ability of the Arousal Predisposition Scale to predict treatment outcome. Subjects received treatment for snake, spider, rat, mouse, or crawling insect phobia. Three groups were utilized (treatment, phobic control and non-phobic control). The treatment session included both behavioral and self-report measures of anxiety. Almost all treatment subjects showed dramatic improvement on both of these types of measures during posttest and one-month follow-up. The treatment and non-phobic control groups were not significantly different at posttest on behavioral measures. The treatment subjects approached the animal as much as the non-phobic subjects did and reported symptoms similar to the non-phobic group at posttest and follow-up signifying a clinically significant improvement. The phobic control group was significantly different from the other two groups at posttest. The Arousal Predisposition Scale did not demonstrate a correlation with treatment outcome.

Included in

Psychology Commons