Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Psychology

First Advisor

Laura J. Dixon

Second Advisor

Karen K. Kellum

Third Advisor

Alan M. Gross

Relational Format



Interoceptive exposure (IE) is a treatment entailing induction of feared physiological sensations that has emerged as the most efficacious component of cognitive behavioral treatments for panic disorder. However, small-to-moderate effect sizes, wide variability in response rates, and dropout rates indicate that panic disorder treatments may benefit from modifications to improve upon retention, response rates, and symptom reduction. Patient motivation and lack of engagement have been identified as factors to intervene upon. One specific direction that has gained increasing empirical interest is the inclusion of values identification; however, research has not yet examined the influence of values on motivation to engage in IE. The current study was conducted to examine the effect of emphasizing values in the treatment rationale on treatment selection, willingness to begin treatment utilizing IE, anticipated adherence to an IE treatment, credibility and expectancy, and acceptability of an IE intervention. An analogue sample of adults with high anxiety sensitivity were recruited online. Participants (N = 146) viewed a video containing psychoeducation about the fear of anxiety and were randomized to receive either the standard IE treatment rationale or values IE treatment rationale video. In addition, participants responded to self-report questionnaires evaluating psychological symptoms and information in the videos. The values and standard rationales yielded similar effects on selection of an IE provider, willingness to begin IE treatment, anticipated adherence to IE, treatment expectancy and acceptability. However, participants who received the values rationale reported greater treatment credibility than those who received the standard rationale. Overall, the findings from the current study provide insights into treatment rationales for IE and highlight directions for future investigation.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.