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Intolerance of uncertainty and threat generalization: a replication and extension

Bauer, E. A., MacNamara, A., Sandre, A., Lonsdorf, T. B., Weinberg, A., Morriss, J. and Van Reekum, C. M. (2020) Intolerance of uncertainty and threat generalization: a replication and extension. Psychophysiology, 57 (5). e13546. ISSN 1540-5958

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/psyp.13546

Abstract/Summary

Intolerance of uncertainty (IU) is a transdiagnostic risk factor for internalizing disorders. Prior work has found that IU may be associated with either increased reactivity to threat or, alternatively, with decreased differential responding between threat and nonthreat/safety cues (i.e., threat generalization). For example, work by Morriss, Macdonald, & van Reekum (2016) found that higher IU was associated with increased threat generalization during acquisition (using skin conductance response (SCR)), as well as less differentiation between acquisition and extinction (using subjective uneasiness ratings). Here, three labs attempted direct and conceptual replications of Morriss, Macdonald, et al. (2016). Results showed that the direct replication failed, despite being conducted at the same lab site as the original study; moreover, in contrast to Morriss, Macdonald, et al. (2016), the direct replication found that higher IU was associated with greater SCR discrimination between threat and safety cues (across acquisition and extinction), as well as greater differences in uneasiness ratings between acquisition and extinction. Nonetheless, in the conceptual replications, higher IU was associated with greater threat generalization, as well as less discrimination between acquisition and extinction, as measured using SCR. Higher IU was also associated with larger late positive potentials to threat versus safety cues during extinction—results that mirror those observed by Morriss, Macdonald, et al. (2016) using SCR. Results are discussed with regards to the challenge involved in defining a successful replication attempt, the benefits of collaborative replication and the use and reliability of multiple measures.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN)
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Psychopathology and Affective Neuroscience
ID Code:89089
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell

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