EWT in the Labyrinth of the Lost

The London Dungeon offers you to chance to be transported back ‘to the darkest moments in the capital’s history … live actors, shows, two rides and interactive special effects ensure that you face your fears head on in this unique ninety minute experience.’ Two psychologists (Tim Valentine and Jan Mesout of Goldsmith’s College, University of London) had the great idea to utilise this experience as an opportunity to ethically test EWT in a stressful context.In the Labyrinth of the Lost a hooded actor jumps out on unsuspecting visitors, blocking their path – which offered the psychologists the opportunity to ask people, after they emerged from the labyrith, if they could identify the man from a set of photographs. In total they interviewed 56 people and found that those who reported feeling more anxious about the labyrinth experience were less accurate in their identification – 17% of high anxiety participants were correct compared with 75% of low anxiety participants. This demonstrates the negtive effects of anxiety on EWT.A separate investigation showed that self-reports of anxiety were positively correlated with physiological arousal in the labyrinth.