Inductive Reasoning in Generalization of Conditioned Fear - Professor Brett Hayes

What is this research about?

There is good evidence that anxiety disorders, in particular Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), involve over-generalization from a distressing event.In such disorders, patients react emotionally to stimuli that are substantially removed from those present at the time of the original trauma.

This new project seeks to understand such over-generalization by examining the role of inductive reasoning in fear conditioning. Our basic premise is that when people encounter stimuli that predict unpleasant outcomes they actively generate hypotheses about which other kinds of stimuli will be associated with those outcomes.

Research on inductive reasoning allows us to predict which factors will influence these hypotheses and hence how fear will be generalized.

Publications forthcoming.


To find out more information about this research, contact Professor Brett Hayes.