Fear of Flying

Running head: ARTICLE CRITIQUE 1

Article Critique: Fear of Flying

Iama Student

Keiser University





Fear of flying is a major issue for many Americans. Beauchamp, Greenfield, and Campobello (2000) attempted to determine how well two treatments, systematic desensitization and implosion therapy, worked to reduce anxiety in people who had fear of flying. Some positive points of this article was the use of an airplane as part of the assessment of anxiety, as well as the use of a normed measure for the assessment of anxiety. However, there were some potential confounds to internal validity that lends less confidence to the findings. For example, the two groups had different rates of attrition that might bias the final outcome. An intent to treat analysis might be better suited to this study. Practice effect might have also played a role in the study as the participants may have learned that the plane is not taking off as part of the assessment. This knowledge may have led participants to have less fear of the assessment. Overall, it is difficult to have confidence in the findings of this research due to these very significant confounds (Note: most articles that are published will not have as significant of confounds and you will unlikely have such a strong statement.

Keywords: fear of flying, treatment

Article Critique: Fear of Flying

Beauchamp, Greenfield, Campobello (2000) studied how implosion therapy and systematic desensitization affected people with a fear of flying. Their repeated measures study provided treatment for 50 participants, all of whom had significant fears. What follows is a critique of the positive and negative points in this study, as well as what can be taken from the study applied to the field of treatment of fear of flying.

Background of Research

Here is my synopsis of the introduction. What is the researcher’s question? Did they provide adequate reasons for looking at this topic (does it seem important, are they filling a gap in the literature)? What is their hypothesis? Let the reader know the importance of this study.

Summary of Methods

Here is my synopsis of the methods section. Describe the study procedures. Describe the participants (who they are, how they were sampled). Describe the measures (are they measuring the construct well, are they valid and reliable measures). Describe any other significant parts of the study that might lead to confounds to internal validity. Describe the methodology in a way that makes it easy to see how the study was conducted.

Summary of Results and Discussion

Here is my synopsis of the results and discussion section. Describe the researcher’s most important results and how they apply to the big picture.


Here is where I discuss potential confounds to internal validity and how it affects the confidence in the results. I will also discuss construct validity here (do the research get at the construct they are measuring). If I am relatively confident, I can then discuss external validity and how the study might generalize to others. I will then move on to what the study means in the bigger picture (how does it fit into the area, does it change how society thinks about the problem). I will also describe how I might redo parts of the study if I were to conduct a similar study. (Note: You can also pepper the critique throughout the sections above).


Beauchamp, M., Greenfield, M. D., & Campobello, L. (2000). Treatment of flying phobia : comparative efficacy of two behavioral methods. Journal of Research in Anxiety, 22, 236-252.

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