Fear and Disgust Responding to Heterogeneous Blood-Injection-Injury Stimuli: Distinctions from Anxiety Symptoms

  • Bunmi O. Olatunji
  • Jeffrey M. Lohr
  • Craig N. Sawchuk
  • Kelly Patten
Original Paper


Discrepancies exist in the literature regarding the unique role of disgust in Blood-Injection-Injury (BII) phobia. The present study attempts to clarify the discrepancy using a sample of analogue BII phobics (n = 40) and nonphobics (n = 40) who completed a series of questionnaires and were exposed to blood, mutilation, and injection pictures. The findings revealed that BII phobics reported greater disgust and contamination fears than nonphobics after controlling for anxious symptoms. When rating phobia-relevant pictures, BII phobics responded with greater fear and disgust than nonphobics after controlling for baseline anxiety scores. Furthermore, disgust was the dominant emotional response for BII phobics for the blood and mutilation stimuli. However, no differences were found between fear and disgust within the BII group when rating injection stimuli. The implications of these findings for better understanding the potential unique role of disgust in the etiology, maintenance, and treatment of BII phobia are discussed.


Blood-injection-injury Phobia Disgust sensitivity Contamination Disgust Fear 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bunmi O. Olatunji
    • 1
  • Jeffrey M. Lohr
    • 2
  • Craig N. Sawchuk
    • 3
  • Kelly Patten
    • 4
  1. 1.Vanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA
  2. 2.University of ArkansasArkansasUSA
  3. 3.University of Washington School of MedicineWashingtonUSA
  4. 4.University of MaineMaineUSA

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