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Inconsistent analytic strategies reduce robustness in fear extinction via skin conductance response


Ney, LJ and Laing, PAF and Steward, T and Zuj, DV and Dymond, S and Felmingham, KL, Inconsistent analytic strategies reduce robustness in fear extinction via skin conductance response, Psychophysiology, 57, (11) Article e13650. ISSN 0048-5772 (2020) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2020 Society for Psychophysiological Research

DOI: doi:10.1111/psyp.13650


Robustness of fear conditioning and extinction paradigms has become increasingly important for many researchers interested in improving the study of anxiety and trauma disorders. We recently illustrated the wide variability in data analysis techniques in this paradigm, which we argued may result in lack of robustness. In the current study, we resampled data from six of our own fear acquisition and extinction datasets, with skin conductance as the outcome. In the resampled and original datasets, we found that effect sizes that were calculated using discrepant statistical strategies, sourced from a non-exhaustive search of high-impact articles, were often poorly correlated. The main contributors to poor correlations were selection of trials from different stages of each experimental phase and use of averaged compared to trial-by-trial analysis. These findings reinforce the importance of focusing on robustness in psychophysiological measurement of fear acquisition and extinction in the laboratory and may guide prospective researchers in which decisions may most impact the robustness of their results.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:skin conductance response, statistical analysis, rear extinction, fear conditioning, threat conditioning, robustness
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Biological psychology
Research Field:Behavioural neuroscience
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Mental health
UTAS Author:Ney, LJ (Mr Luke Ney)
ID Code:139846
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:19
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2020-07-08
Last Modified:2021-03-25
Downloads:31 View Download Statistics

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