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(NOTE: This is the debriefing statement for the FULL study that this pilot will instruct)

Debriefing Statement for the VCU Fear Study


Thanks again for choosing to participate in our study!


We hope that the results of this study will help psychologists understand better the ways that common fears affect people’s lives, and help those seeking treatment.


Everyone has fears in one degree or another. When fears of particular objects or situations are so strong that they begin to interfere with someone’s life, they may be classified as “phobias,” a group of diagnosable disorders. An example of such a case might be a person who avoids going to parks and the homes of friends because of an excessive fear of pet dogs.


Studies of fears over the past 40 years have shown that people who have strong fears of specific things, such as going to the dentist, often have fears of related things as well (for example, donating blood, watching gory movies, getting injections). In some cases, different treatment strategies are used for people with different types of fears. For example, some people fear flying because they are afraid of a plane crash. Others, however, fear flying because they are concerned that they may have a medical emergency or an “anxiety attack” and may not be able to get help quickly. Therefore, different treatment strategies would be used to treat each of these types of phobias.


The study that you just assisted with will be used to better define the reasons behind different fears and their prevalence in a college student sample. The findings of this study may help clinicians understand better the patients that come to them for help, and choose the most appropriate treatment plan for them.


This debriefing is made available to help you understand the questionnaires you just completed. If you have more questions, you can contact Scott McDonald ( who will provide more information.


btw- I had hoped to put results of this pilot study on the web. However, for various administrative reasons, I will not be able to publicly post the results....

Thanks Again!