This research was supported by U.S. Public Health Service grant R01-MH60315 and Department of Veterans Affairs Merit Review grant to Scott P. Orr. Additional support was provided to Suzanne Pineles by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Clinical Sciences R&D Service, Career Development Award Program. We thank Heike Croteau, Michael Macklin, Sgt. Thomas Flemming, Sheeva Mostoufi, and Erin Rowe for their assistance with this project. We would also like to express our appreciation to the police and firefighters for their willingness to participate.
An alternative scoring method for skin conductance responding in a differential fear conditioning paradigm with a long-duration conditioned stimulus
Article first published online: 22 JUN 2009
Published 2009 Society for Psychophysiological Research. This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA
Volume 46, Issue 5, pages 984–995, September 2009
How to Cite
Pineles, S. L., Orr, M. R. and Orr, S. P. (2009), An alternative scoring method for skin conductance responding in a differential fear conditioning paradigm with a long-duration conditioned stimulus. Psychophysiology, 46: 984–995. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.2009.00852.x
- Issue published online: 11 SEP 2009
- Article first published online: 22 JUN 2009
- (Received June 20, 2008; Accepted January 7, 2009)
- Electrodermal response (skin electric response);
- Scoring methods
Researchers examining skin conductance (SC) as a measure of aversive conditioning commonly separate the SC response into two components when the CS-UCS interval is sufficiently long. This convention drew from early theorists who described these components, the first- and second-interval responses, as measuring orienting and conditional responses, respectively. The present report critically examines this scoring method through a literature review and a secondary data analysis of a large-scale study of police and firefighter trainees that used a differential aversive conditioning procedure (n=287). The task included habituation, acquisition, and extinction phases, with colored circles as the CSs and shocks as the UCS. Results do not support the convention of separating the SC response into first- and second-interval responses. It is recommended that SC response scores be derived from data obtained across the entire CS-UCS interval.