Sex differences are not attenuated by a sex-invariant measure of fear: The situated fear questionnaire

Anne C. Campbell, Claire Coombes, Raluca David, Adrian Opre, Lois Grayson, Steven Muncer

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Abstract

Widely-used fear questionnaires may exaggerate sex differences because they do not ensure sex
invariance of items and conflate anxiety with fear. Beginning with 50 descriptions of fear-eliciting
situations, we used Rasch analysis to identify sex-invariant items and Mokken analysis to establish
unidimensional scalability. The resulting 27-item Situated Fear Questionnaire (SFQ) correlated highly
with the widely-used Fear Survey Schedule, while demonstrating better discrimination between
anxiety and fear. Sex differences in three samples were all in excess of d = 1.00 and were not
explained by gender role adherence or anxiety levels. The hedonic tone associated with fear
situations (ranging from distressing/alarming to thrilling/exhilarating) was rated as more positive by
men and this was only partially explained by their lower reported fear.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-219
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume97
Early online date31 Mar 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2016

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Campbell, Anne C. ; Coombes, Claire ; David, Raluca ; Opre, Adrian ; Grayson, Lois ; Muncer, Steven. / Sex differences are not attenuated by a sex-invariant measure of fear: The situated fear questionnaire. In: Personality and Individual Differences. 2016 ; Vol. 97. pp. 210-219.
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Sex differences are not attenuated by a sex-invariant measure of fear: The situated fear questionnaire. / Campbell, Anne C.; Coombes, Claire; David, Raluca; Opre, Adrian; Grayson, Lois; Muncer, Steven.

In: Personality and Individual Differences, Vol. 97, 31.03.2016, p. 210-219.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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