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The Psychophysiology of Anxiety and Hedonic Affect: Motivational Specificity

  • Don C. Fowles

Abstract

As it is widely believed that the state of anxiety involves a massive activation of the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system, clinical researchers frequently employ psychophysiological measures as indices of anxiety. Heart rate and electrodermal activity (EDA) are among the most widely used measures for this purpose, largely because of the ease with which they can be recorded. EDA refers to the electrical changes, especially an increase in conductivity, associated with sweat gland activity on the palmar and plantar surfaces. Since stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system produces an increase in both heart rate and palmar skin conductance, anxiety is assumed to produce increases in both (e.g., Martin & Sroufe, 1970).

Keywords

Conditioned Stimulus Passive Avoidance Active Avoidance Monetary Incentive Electrodermal Activity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Don C. Fowles
    • 1
  1. 1.University of IowaUSA

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