Focus of attention, chronic expectancy, and responses to a feared stimulus

Charles S Carver, Paul H. Blaney, Michael F. Scheier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Tested an attentional model of fear-based behavior with 44 undergraduates. It was predicted that among Ss with moderate fear of snakes, heightened self-attention during an approach attempt would cause increased awareness of existing anxiety, followed by 1 of 2 courses of events: Ss who believed that they could do the behavior in spite of their fear were expected to redirect their attention to the behavior-goal comparison and exhibit no behavioral deficit. Ss who doubted their ability to do the behavior were expected to divert their attention from the behavior-goal comparison and to withdraw behaviorally from the approach attempt. Results support this reasoning and discussion centers on relationships between the proposed model and previous theory. (27 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1186-1195
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jan 1 1979


  • behavior in approaching feared stimulus, college students with moderate fear of snakes
  • heightened self focus, awareness of anxiety-based arousal &

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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