Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Robert St. Claire-Smith

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


The initial study of the present research was conducted to determine the effect of low versus high imagery stimulus words on the outcome of semantic desensitization as conducted by Hekmat and Vanian (1971). The overall lack of significant findings led to a more intense examination of the basic underlying assumptions of semantic desensitization. Study II was designed in an attempt to find a method which would successfully achieve meaning change while maintaining interest. A paired associate method was more powerful than the Hekmat procedure in producing meaning change. Study III compared the potency of the paired associate and Hekmat procedure as applied to phobic individuals. The paired associate method brought about a greater reduction in phobic behavior than the Hekmat procedure and it was concluded that the paired associate technique warranted further investigation and consideration as a therapeutic approach to the treatment of phobias.

Convocation Year


Included in

Psychology Commons