The effect of disgust and fear modeling on children's disgust and fear for animals.
Bottom Line: Disgust is a protective emotion associated with certain types of animal fears.Children's fear beliefs and avoidance preferences increased for these disgust-paired animals compared with unpaired control animals.The findings also suggest a bidirectional relationship between fear and disgust with fear-related vicarious learning leading to increased disgust for animals and disgust-related vicarious learning leading to increased fear and avoidance.
Affiliation: Department of Psychology.Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus
Mentions: The Pairing Type × Time interaction, important for testing predictions, was significant, F(2, 112) = 18.96, p < .001, ηp2 = .25, showing that fear beliefs changed because of vicarious learning, increasing or decreasing depending on the type of face animals had been seen with. Planned comparisons found that fear beliefs increased significantly for animals seen with negative (disgust and fear) faces, F(1, 56) = 9.25, p = .004, ηp2 = .14, and decreased for animals seen with positive happy faces, F(1, 56) = 13.24, p = .001, ηp2 = .19. In addition, the critical Pairing Type × Time × Group interaction was significant, F(2, 112) = 8.16, p < .001, ηp2 = .12, indicating a significant difference in the vicarious learning effects between the disgust and fear vicarious learning groups. Thus, this interaction was broken down further in two two-way 3 (pairing type: negative, happy, unpaired) × 2 (time: before vs. after) repeated measures ANOVAs performed on each group. For children in the disgust group, there was a significant Pairing Type × Time interaction, F(2, 56) = 4.03, p = .023, ηp2 = .13, showing that children’s fear beliefs for animals changed as a result of vicarious learning. Planned comparisons showed that fear beliefs increased for animals seen with disgust faces, F(1, 28) = 6.27, p = .018, r = .43 (medium-sized effect), compared with unpaired animals, but did not change for animals seen with happy faces, F(1, 28) = 0.11, p = .74, r = .06. In the fear group, the crucial Pairing Type × Time interaction was also significant, F(1.65, 46.20) = 20.24, p < .001, ηp2 = .42 (Greenhouse–Geisser). Comparisons indicated that increases in children’s fear beliefs due to fear pairing were approaching borderline significance, F(1, 28) = 3.19, p = .085, r = .32, showing a medium-sized effect (Cohen, 1988, 1992), and decreases due to happy pairing were highly significant, F(1, 28) = 25.11, p < .001, r = .69. Figure 4 displays mean changes in fear beliefs following vicarious learning in the two groups.