In the new study involved 24 people. Volunteers were afraid of the crowd or public places. The participants once a week for three weeks at different times of the day went to the exhibition sessions of psychotherapy that involves facing your fear face to face.
At each session volunteers at least half an hour spent in the new environment – public transport, crowded supermarket or the cinema. They stayed there until, yet their fear did not subside. Before and after each meeting, participants answered questions about their symptoms. The scientists also measured the levels of cortisol (stress hormone) in the saliva of volunteers.
The researchers found: for the morning sessions, the patients achieved the greatest success in comparison with sessions in the afternoon. They had better control of their own anxiety and to have experienced less intense fear at the next meetings with the therapist. Apparently, the fact that the morning cortisol levels are involved in the formation of new reactions to fear, above all.