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(华南师范大学心理应用研究中心, 广州 510631)
The Impact of State Anxiety on Fear Acquisition and Extinction
ZHANG Yuhe;JIN Yan;ZHENG Xifu;YAN Ke;ZHOU Shangyun
(Center for Studies of Psychological Application, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China)
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采用44名正常女性大学生作为被试, 通过心理社会压力暴露的方法诱发焦虑组被试的状态焦虑, 采用主观预期值作为指标, 考察焦虑对条件恐惧习得和消退的直接影响, 并探讨这种影响是否也表现在评价性条件作用上。结果表明:心理社会压力暴露显著提高了焦虑组被试的状态焦虑。在习得阶段, 状态焦虑降低了被试对条件刺激的辨别条件恐惧反应, 具体而言, 状态焦虑降低了被试对CS+的主观预期值, 但是却提高了对CS?的主观预期值; 在消退阶段, 状态焦虑抑制了被试对条件刺激的消退。状态焦虑的影响也表现在评价性条件作用上, 和控制组相比, 焦虑组在习惯化和消退阶段对条件刺激表现出了更为负性的效价评定。

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关键词 条件恐惧状态焦虑评价性条件作用    

The suggestion of individual differences in fear conditioning has been put forward as a potential etiological factor for the development of anxiety disorders. Previous studies mostly focused on investigating the differences in fear acquisition and extinction comparing anxious and non-anxious individuals, and different theories were developed for possible explanations. However, to provide evidence for a causal link between anxiety and fear conditioning, anxiety should be experimentally induced in healthy individuals. And to further understand the mechanism of anxiety and fear conditioning, evaluative conditioning should also be explored. An experiment was designed to test the impact of anxiety on fear conditioning. Forty-four healthy female participants were exposed to a psychological social stressor (or control condition) while subjective anxiety was measured, then all participants participated in a differential fear conditioning experiment consisted of habituation, acquisition, and extinction phases while subject US-expectancy was rated online. Two simple geometrical figures served as CS+ and CS?, and a 4-sec female scream as US. Each CS+ was paired with a US during the acquisition phase. To measure evaluative conditioning, participants were required to rate CS-valence at the end of each conditioning phase. The results showed that exposure to the stressor increased state anxiety. During acquisition, state anxiety inhibited discriminative conditioning between CS+ and CS?. Specifically, the anxiety group exhibited lower subjective US-expectancy ratings for CS+, but higher subjective US-expectancy ratings for CS? compared to control group. At the phase of extinction, state anxiety led to a deficit in extinction learning. The impact of state anxiety was also found in evaluative conditioning. The anxiety group showed more negative valence ratings for CS compared to control group in habituation and extinction phases. The results of this study support the theory, which identifies the failure to inhibit fear responses in the presence of safety signals (a CS?) in anxiety individuals. The results suggest that anxiety hinders the individuals’ ability to distinguish between safe and unsafe signals, and in turn impairs the adaptive response to threatening stimulus in a changeful environment. The results also show that anxiety attenuates the normal recovery process from aversive experiences, which indicates that individuals in an anxiety state would need more extinction trials (or exposure session) than individuals in a neutral emotional state. In addition, the relation between US-expectancy and CS-valence suggests that successful exposure therapy should be more focused on the changing of the individuals’ negative evaluation reactions of CS.

Key wordsfear conditioning    state anxiety    evaluative conditioning
收稿日期: 2013-05-15      出版日期: 2014-03-25

国家自然科学基金项目(31371057), 华南师范大学广东省心理健康与认知科学重点实验室, 国家基础科学人才培养基金(J1210024, J1310031)资助。

通讯作者: 郑希付   
张予贺;金艳;郑希付;闫柯;周晌昀. 状态焦虑对条件恐惧习得和消退的影响[J]. 心理学报, 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2014.00396.
ZHANG Yuhe;JIN Yan;ZHENG Xifu;YAN Ke;ZHOU Shangyun. The Impact of State Anxiety on Fear Acquisition and Extinction. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2014, 46(3): 396-404.
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