Phobic Stimuli Response Scale (PSRS)


The Phobic Stimuli Response Scale (PSRS) is a 46-item self-report scale measuring five subtypes of common phobic fears:
-blood-injection (trypanophobia)
-bodily harm (traumatophobia)
-social (social phobia)
-animal (zoophobia)
-confinement (claustrophobia)

The PSRS assesses the “cognitive and emotional components of the fear response” (Cutshall & Watson, 2004). It is useful for tracking symptoms of one of more of the above phobias over time.

This measure has been validated with an undergraduate samples. All five subscales of the PSRS have excellent internal consistency, ranging from 0.80 to 0.87. Convergent validity of the blood-injection and social subscales is demonstrated by their strong positive correlations with similar subscales from the Fear Questionnaire (Cutshall & Watson, 2004). Two subscales (blood-injection and animal) are consistent with the DSM-5 classifications.

Data used for interpretive purposes are based on an undergraduate sample of 248 people (Ashton et al. 2008).

Scores are presented as raw scores for each phobic fear, a mean score and a percentile. The mean score is the raw score divided by the number of items, which represents the average response.

The percentiles are derived from Ashton and colleague’s (2008) undergraduate sample (n = 248), where a percentile of 50 represents normal and healthly levels of fear, while percentiles above 75 indicate fear that may interfere with daily life. Percentiles should not be used as the primary method for interpretation as the sample data was skewed.

Scoring for the following scales is computed by adding the following items:

Blood-Injection Scale: 2, 7, 13, 15, 17, 19, 22, 30, 32, 41
Bodily Harm Scale: 5, 10, 24, 31, 36, 38, 42, 43
Social Scale: 3, 6, 16, 18, 27, 28, 33, 34, 35, 39, 45
Animal Scale: 1, 4, 12, 14, 29, 37, 44, 46
Physical Confinement Scale: 8, 9, 11, 20, 21, 23, 25, 26, 40

Cutshall, C. & Watson, D. (2004). The Phobic Stimuli Response Scales: A new self-report measure of fear. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 42, 1193-1201. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2003.08.003

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