Fear generalization in patients with Panic Disorder: A 5 clinic direct replication of Lissek et al. (2010).


Panic disorder is prevalent and costly. Many theories use a conditioning approach for explaining the onset of panic symptomatology. According to this approach, panic pathogenesis stems from associations between a neutral stimulus (CS; e.g., a bus) and unpleasant sensations (US; e.g., a panic attack) such as now the CS is thought to be predictive of the US. Importantly, this fear will not be limited to the CS but will be generalized to also stimuli that are similar to the CS (e.g., trains). Such generalization was thought to be crucial in the transition from a single panic attack to panic symptomatology. Although this idea was theoretically attractive, the first one to put it into test was Lissek et al. (2010) showing that panic patients show more fear generalization than healthy controls. The Lissek et al. (2010) had wide theoretical and clinical implications, and it is now being one of the key examples on the role of fear generalization in panic and other anxiety-related disorders. It is also one of the studies being used in the development of therapies for panic disorders, with such therapies aiming on limiting fear generalization. Despite its wide influence, no published direct replication of Lissek et al. (2010) has been performed. We are planning on performing a direct replication of the study by repeating the experiment across 5 (inter-)national clinics. Importantly, we will use advanced statistical techniques for accessing the replication success of our study, as well as recruit enough participants so that our analyses have enough power. We will also employ a mixed inference approach by repeating our analyses within both a null-hypothesis statistical testing and Bayesian hypothesis testing. Ultimately, our direct replication will provide important information about the working mechanisms of panic symptomatology, an issue of tremendous individual and social importance.





Dr. A.M. Krypotos

Verbonden aan

Universiteit Utrecht, Faculteit Sociale Wetenschappen, Departement Psychologie


01/01/2019 tot 31/12/2020