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December 1966

Physiological Measures, Sedative Drugs, and Morbid Anxiety.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1966;15(6):666-667. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1966.01730180106015

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Lader and Wing's monograph contains a description of five studies on peripheral automatic responses of normals and anxiety reaction patients in placebo and drug conditions. The authors developed a standardized 30-minute autonomic measurement procedure consisting of galvanic skin response, (GSR) pulse, and electromyographic (EMG) reactions during a 10-minute rest period and a 20-minute stimulation period. The stimuli were a series of 1000 cps tones. Adaptation, or habituation (author's term), to the successive tones constituted an important measurement variable. The studies also used the Maudsley Personality Inventory and psychiatric ratings of anxiety and other symptoms. There was considerably less sophistication in the rating methodology than in the autonomic measurement. The scales are crude and undefined and no reliability estimates are provided.

The second chapter of the book is a review of the anxiety construct, the related constructs of orientation reaction, arousal, vigilance, habituation, physiological methods of measurement related to these constructs,

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