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Measuring fear: Association among different measures of fear learning.
J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry. 2021 03; 70:101618.JB

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES

Fear conditioning paradigms use various measures to assess learned fear, including autonomic arousal responses like skin conductance, and self-reports of both associative (US-expectancies) and evaluative (affective ratings) learning. The present study uses a dimensional approach to examine associations among fear indices directly.

METHODS

Seventy-three participants completed a differential fear conditioning experiment, during which a neutral stimulus (CS+) was paired with an electric shock (US), while another stimulus (CS-) was never paired with the shock (partially instructed fear acquisition). Ten minutes later, both stimuli were presented without any shocks (fear extinction). Skin conductance responses and US-expectancy ratings were recorded during each phase, while self-reported negative affect was assessed for each CS at the end of extinction.

RESULTS

Results showed a positive association among US-expectancy ratings and skin conductance responses during acquisition and early extinction. US-expectancy ratings during overall extinction were positively associated with post-extinction negative affect.

LIMITATIONS

The lack of affective ratings post-acquisition may have obscured associations between associative and evaluative learning indices.

CONCLUSIONS

Results provide evidence for the expected correspondence among different indices of associative fear learning. Findings emphasize the need for incorporating both associative and evaluative learning measures in fear conditioning paradigms.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK.Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK.Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK.Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK; University of Sussex, School of Psychology, Brighton, UK.Experimental Psychopathology Lab, Department of Psychology, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China; Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK.Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA; Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK. Electronic address: thalia.eley@kcl.ac.uk.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

33039814

Citation

Constantinou, Elena, et al. "Measuring Fear: Association Among Different Measures of Fear Learning." Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, vol. 70, 2021, p. 101618.
Constantinou E, Purves KL, McGregor T, et al. Measuring fear: Association among different measures of fear learning. J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry. 2021;70:101618.
Constantinou, E., Purves, K. L., McGregor, T., Lester, K. J., Barry, T. J., Treanor, M., Craske, M. G., & Eley, T. C. (2021). Measuring fear: Association among different measures of fear learning. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 70, 101618. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbtep.2020.101618
Constantinou E, et al. Measuring Fear: Association Among Different Measures of Fear Learning. J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry. 2021;70:101618. PubMed PMID: 33039814.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Measuring fear: Association among different measures of fear learning. AU - Constantinou,Elena, AU - Purves,Kirstin L, AU - McGregor,Thomas, AU - Lester,Kathryn J, AU - Barry,Tom J, AU - Treanor,Michael, AU - Craske,Michelle G, AU - Eley,Thalia C, Y1 - 2020/09/23/ PY - 2019/11/29/received PY - 2020/09/15/revised PY - 2020/09/21/accepted PY - 2020/10/12/pubmed PY - 2021/8/18/medline PY - 2020/10/11/entrez KW - Affective ratings KW - Differential fear conditioning KW - Skin conductance KW - US-expectancies SP - 101618 EP - 101618 JF - Journal of behavior therapy and experimental psychiatry JO - J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry VL - 70 N2 - BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Fear conditioning paradigms use various measures to assess learned fear, including autonomic arousal responses like skin conductance, and self-reports of both associative (US-expectancies) and evaluative (affective ratings) learning. The present study uses a dimensional approach to examine associations among fear indices directly. METHODS: Seventy-three participants completed a differential fear conditioning experiment, during which a neutral stimulus (CS+) was paired with an electric shock (US), while another stimulus (CS-) was never paired with the shock (partially instructed fear acquisition). Ten minutes later, both stimuli were presented without any shocks (fear extinction). Skin conductance responses and US-expectancy ratings were recorded during each phase, while self-reported negative affect was assessed for each CS at the end of extinction. RESULTS: Results showed a positive association among US-expectancy ratings and skin conductance responses during acquisition and early extinction. US-expectancy ratings during overall extinction were positively associated with post-extinction negative affect. LIMITATIONS: The lack of affective ratings post-acquisition may have obscured associations between associative and evaluative learning indices. CONCLUSIONS: Results provide evidence for the expected correspondence among different indices of associative fear learning. Findings emphasize the need for incorporating both associative and evaluative learning measures in fear conditioning paradigms. SN - 1873-7943 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/33039814/Measuring_fear:_Association_among_different_measures_of_fear_learning_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -