Although initial findings indicated that threat-related attention bias variability (ABV), an index designed to capture dynamic shifts in threat-related attention over time, was positively correlated with the severity of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, a recent study relying on simulated data has raised questions regarding the validity and empirical utility of ABV. Specifically, the simulations suggested that core features of reaction time data distinct from threat-related attention bias, such as the reaction time standard deviation and mean, could explicate the reported elevated ABV among samples with PTSD. In the present study, we evaluated these suggestions in 95 PTSD-diagnosed participants. The results showed that ABV significantly and uniquely predicted PTSD symptom severity beyond the predictive value of core reaction time features, ΔR2 =.05–.23. Some of the predictions stemming from the simulated results were replicated, whereas others were not. Contrary to the conclusion drawn from the simulated data, the results from the current study suggest that ABV is a valid and replicable correlate of PTSD symptom severity.
|Israel Science Foundation