Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


This series of studies examined the role of selected individual difference factors in the efficacy of visual imagery (Covert Modeling) and verbal (Self-Instructional Training) coping skills procedures. Specifically, individual differences in imagery-verbal processes were examined. A variety of individual difference measures were employed in an attempt to understand whether previous inconsistent data were due to assessment issues. Also, these studies employed an 'Aptitude-Treatment Interaction' (ATI) design to evaluate the role of the individual difference variables. This design is more powerful than the typical median split procedure.;Study 1 focused on whether ATI effects could be found between Covert Modeling and Self-Instructional Training for rat phobics. Strong ATI effects were generated for behavioral approach as well as subjective fear measures. However, the nature of the assessment of individual differences was crucial. Only the scale which assessed reliance on visual imagery and verbal strategies to cope with fear (i.e., the Fear-Coping scale) was strongly predictive of training gains. Covert Modeling was more effective than Self-Instruction, training for those who relied on imagery to cope with fear, whereas Self-Instruction Training was more effective than Covert Modeling for those who strongly relied on verbal fear coping strategies.;Study 2 replicated the predictive validity of this measure in an independent sample of rat phobics. More specifically, there was greater predictive validity for Self-Instructional Training than for Covert Modeling. In addition, ATI effects were generated by measures of intellectual level. Here Covert Modeling was more effective than Self-Instructional Training for those scoring high. The reverse was found for those scoring low. Also, predictive relationships were found for pretraining fear level measures in Study 2.;Study 3 examined the generalization of these ATI effects to snake phobics. Whilte ATI effects were again found for the Fear-Coping scale, the direction of these effects were reversed. Most of the other scales also demonstrated this pattern of reversal. Possible explanations for this reversal, as well as implications of these data, are discussed.



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