The relationship between neuroticism, current affect, past contact with dogs and fear of dogs
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BA (Hons) in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The purpose of the study was to examine the relationship between neuroticism, current affect, past contact with dogs and fear of dogs, with a hope to enhance the understanding of this specific fear. A mixed, experimental and correlational within-subjects design was used on a convenience sample of 33 participants. Participants’ GSR was measured while exposing them to a series neutral and dog images. The GSR response to dog images was significantly higher than that to neutral pictures; the difference between the two was used as a physiological indicator of ‘fear’ in the correlational analysis. Neuroticism was measured by The Big Five Inventory (John, Srivastava, 1999); current affect was measured by PANAS (Watson, Clark, Tellegen, 1988); past exposure to dogs was measured by a Semantic Differential. Whilst there was no significant association between ‘fear’ and the 3 psychological factors, the power of the tests was too low to reject the hypotheses. Author keywords: fear of dogs, specific fear, fear of animals, neuroticism, negative affect, past exposure to dogs