British Journal of Clinical Psychology

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Volume 35 Issue 4 (November 1996), Pages i-i, 487-646

Do agoraphobics interpret the environment in large shops and supermarkets differently? (pages 635-637)

Agoraphobics typically have difficulties in visiting supermarkets. This brief report presents results of a survey investigating the properties of supermarkets which provoke or ease anxiety‐related responses in shoppers (N = 500) and two further groups: agoraphobics (N = 40) and participants responding to a local press advert (N = 54). Results showed that layout features, stairways and diminished access were rated as more anxiety provoking in the agoraphobic‐type groups compared to general shoppers. The safety‐signal model of agoraphobic behaviour was supported although some evidence of dysfunction of spatial orientation was found.

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