Children's sleepiness facilitates the effect of vicarious learning on the development of fear

Reynolds, Gemma ORCID logoORCID: and Ewing, Donna (2021) Children's sleepiness facilitates the effect of vicarious learning on the development of fear. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 208 , 105129. ISSN 0022-0965 [Article] (doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2021.105129)

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A substantial body of research demonstrates the importance of sleep for emotional processing and learning, as well as the association between sleep problems and heightened anxiety. However, there is currently no research exploring the impact of sleepiness on vicariously learned fear responses. Experiment 1 (N = 38) first demonstrated no effect of trait or state sleepiness on children’s (aged 7-11 years) subjective ratings of fear. Experiments 2 (N=42) and 3 (N=46) used an established vicarious learning paradigm to demonstrate that trait sleepiness facilitated vicariously acquired avoidance preferences for animals paired with fearful faces (fear-paired animals), while state sleepiness facilitated children’s fear cognitions and attentional bias towards fear-paired animals. This study is the first to demonstrate the role of state and trait sleepiness on moderating vicarious fear learning in children.

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): Fear development, Modeling, Sleepiness, Vicarious learning
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
Item ID: 32156
Notes on copyright: © 2021. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
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Depositing User: Gemma Reynolds
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2021 10:39
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 17:47

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