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

Ney, LJ, Steward, PAF, Zuj, DV, Dymond, S and Felmingham, KL 2020 , 'Inconsistent analytic strategies reduce robustness in fear extinction via skin conductance response' , Psychophysiology , doi:

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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 Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Ney, LJ and Steward, PAF and Zuj, DV and Dymond, S and Felmingham, KL
Keywords: skin conductance response, statistical analysis, rear extinction, fear conditioning, threat conditioning, robustness
Journal or Publication Title: Psychophysiology
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd
ISSN: 0048-5772
DOI / ID Number:
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Copyright 2020 Society for Psychophysiological Research

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