A pictorial version of the extrinsic affective simon task: sensitivity to generally affective and phobia-relevant stimuli in high and low spider fearful individuals
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This study assessed whether a pictorial, rather than a verbal, Extrinsic Affective Simon Task (EAST: De Houwer, 2003) is, i) sensitive to the affective valence of normatively positive, neutral and negative pictures, ii) sensitive to interindividual differences pertaining to fear-relevant affective associations, and iii) a valid predictor for strategic and/or reflexive fear responses. High (n = 35) and low (n = 35) spider fearful individuals completed an EAST comprising of universal positive, negative, neutral, and spider pictures. The pictorial EAST was sensitive to normatively valenced stimuli, tended to differentiate between high and low fearful individuals with respect to spider pictures, and showed independent predictive validity for avoidance behaviour.