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Applying Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) to the study of fear and anxiety: A critical comment

Zoellner, Lori A. ; Foa, Edna B.

Psychophysiology, March 2016, Vol.53(3), pp.332-335 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    Applying Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) to the study of fear and anxiety: A critical comment
  • Author/Creator: Zoellner, Lori A. ; Foa, Edna B.
  • Subjects: Rdoc ; Fear ; Anxiety ; Self‐Report
  • Is Part Of: Psychophysiology, March 2016, Vol.53(3), pp.332-335
  • Description: The goal of the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) is to develop an interdisciplinary science of psychopathology, forming a template for research and disconnecting conceptual and empirical questions from traditional diagnostic entities. In this article, we review some of the challenges in the implementation of this framework within the field of pathological fear and anxiety, specifically commenting on the article by Hamm and colleagues (2016). The study of pathological fear and anxiety has had considerable, yet stalled, success in its understanding of underlying mechanisms, prevention, and treatment. With a shift toward RDoC, it is unclear what to do with the existing diagnostic labels, and the importance of defining and measuring phenotypes becomes paramount. Additional concerns include the role of psychological constructs and mechanisms, the use of self‐report measures, the examination of replication and clinical utility, and the measurement of the role of the environment. Though a laudable and potentially necessary shift in focus, it remains to be seen whether new overall insights into psychopathology will emerge from focusing on small units of analyses and piecing them together and whether these insights will directly translate into the prevention of psychopathology, more efficacious treatments, and improved lives of patients.
  • Identifier: ISSN: 0048-5772 ; E-ISSN: 1469-8986 ; DOI: 10.1111/psyp.12588