Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry vol:44 issue:2 pages:201-206
Background and Objectives: Human fear conditioning is widely regarded as one of the prime paradigms for the study of fear and anxiety disorders. We provide an evaluation of a commonly used subjective measure in the human fear conditioning paradigm, namely the US-expectancy measurement.
Methods: We assess the validity of US-expectancy with respect to conditions of pathological fear and anxiety using four established criteria for scrutiny of a laboratory test or model (i.e., face validity, diagnostic validity, predictive validity, construct validity).
Results: Arguably, there is sufficient evidence for the face validity, diagnostic validity, predictive validity and construct validity of the US-expectancy measure.
Limitations: Presumed limitations of the US-expectancy measure, including its susceptibility to experimental demand and memory bias, are discussed.
Conclusions: The US-expectancy measure is a valuable measurement method that can be effectively used in research that aims to enhance our understanding of fear and anxiety disorders.