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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Behavioral Medicine

First Advisor

Roger Katz

First Committee Member

Pam Fitzgerald

Second Committee Member

David Wilder


Predicted fear is the amount of fear a person expects to experience in a given situation. Predictions can be either accurate or inaccurate in comparison to what the person actually experiences in the situation. This two-part analog study was an extension of Rachman's match/mismatch model of overprediction theory. In the first part, college students who overpredicted their fear of a live snake were compared with a control group of students who either underpredicted or accurately predicted their fear of the same snake. Comparisons were made on self-report, physiological, and behavioral measures of anxiety to assess the relationship between these measures and the tendency to overpredict fear. In the second phase of the study, overpredictors and control subjects were randomly assigned to either a feedback or no feedback group. At issue was whether feedback about the accuracy of predicted fear of a snake facilitated correct matches and fear reduction on subsequent exposure trials in comparison to the effects of exposure alone. Results showed that providing feedback did not hasten correct matches. However, in keeping with the views of Rachman (1994) and others, I did find (a) a larger number of overpredictors than underpredictors, (b) an increase of accuracy of predictions over trails, (c) a decrease in the participants' levels of fear over trials.




9780599689183 , 0599689188

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