Ground control to Major Tom: Experimental manipulation of anxiety-related interpretation bias by means of the "space odyssey" paradigm and effects on avoidance tendencies in children
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The "space odyssey" paradigm refers to an experimental method that can be used to manipulate interpretation bias in youths. In this study, the "space odyssey" paradigm was employed to induce either a negative or a positive interpretation bias in a sample of 120 non-clinical children aged 9-13 years. The results indicated that children's interpretation bias and avoidance tendencies scores were successfully manipulated during the experiment. That is, children in the negative training group showed an increase in negative interpretation bias and avoidance tendencies, whereas children in the positive training group exhibited a decrease in interpretation bias and avoidance tendencies, although it should be admitted that these effects in general were rather weak. Further, no support was found for the idea that high-anxious children were more affected by the experimental manipulation than low-anxious children.