Multiverse analyses in fear conditioning research.

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Publisher: Elsevier Science Publishers
Document Type: Report; Brief article
Length: 333 words

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Abstract :

Keywords Anxiety disorders; Questionable research practices; Good research practices; p-hacking; Transparency Highlights * We introduce a multiverse approach for fear conditioning analyses. * We showcase the aim and value of model-multiverse analyses in two datasets. * We introduce an easy-to-use R-package 'multifear'. * Multiverse studies aid the development of formal theories and clinical translation. Abstract There is heterogeneity in and a lack of consensus on the preferred statistical analyses in light of a multitude of potentially equally justifiable approaches. Here, we introduce multiverse analysis for the field of experimental psychopathology research. We present a model multiverse approach tailored to fear conditioning research and, as a secondary aim, introduce the R package 'multifear' that allows to run all the models though a single line of code. Model specifications and data reduction approaches were identified through a systematic literature search. The heterogeneity of statistical models identified included Bayesian ANOVA and t-tests as well as frequentist ANOVA, t-test as well as mixed models with a variety of data reduction approaches. We illustrate the power of a multiverse analysis for fear conditioning data based on two pre-existing data sets with partial (data set 1) and 100% reinforcement rate (data set 2) by using CS discrimination in skin conductance responses (SCRs) during fear acquisition and extinction training as case examples. Both the effect size and the direction of effect was impacted by choice of the model and data reduction techniques. We anticipate that an increase in multiverse-type of studies will aid the development of formal theories through the accumulation of empirical evidence and ultimately aid clinical translation. Author Affiliation: (a) Department of Systems Neuroscience, University Medical Center Hamburg Eppendorf, Germany (b) Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands (c) Department of Experimental Psychology, Utrecht University, the Netherlands (d) KU Leuven, Belgium * Corresponding author. 20246, Hamburg, Germany. Article History: Received 28 September 2021; Revised 4 February 2022; Accepted 7 March 2022 Byline: Tina B. Lonsdorf [] (a,*), Anna Gerlicher (b), Maren Klingelhöfer-Jens (a), Angelos-Miltiadis Krypotos (c,d)

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A703074260