Physiological Fear Response Amplitude in Visual Stimuli vs Audio-Visual Stimuli: A Comparative Gender Study
Journal of Advanced Student Sciences (JASS)
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The comparison between unimodal stimuli (visual stimuli only) and bimodal stimuli (simultaneous audio-visual stimuli) is an under-studied but interesting subject in physiology. This study aims to explore gender differences in fear response by implementing and comparing both unimodal and bimodal stimuli. Across both genders, it was hypothesized that bimodal stimuli will induce a stronger fear response than unimodal stimuli. Specifically for the purpose of this study, it was also hypothesized that females will show a higher degree of fear response when compared to males. Fear response was defined by changes to heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate; and these physiological measures were taken before stimuli presentation and during both a unimodal and bimodal film clip. Analysis indicated that males and females had an increased fear response to bimodal stimuli than to unimodal stimuli, but between genders there was no significant difference in degree of response. Post-stimulus surveys reported that woman indicated that the film clips were significantly more frightening than their male counterparts. Further research will need to be conducted in order to understand this enhanced fear perception in females.