Paper in Journal of Pain
  • Dear, B.F., Sharpe, L., Nicholas, M.K. and Refshauge, K. (2011). The psychometric properties of the dot-probe paradigm when used in pain-related attentional bias research. Journal of Pain, 12, 1247 - 1254.

    ABSTRACT
    In recent years, there has been increasing acknowledgment of the need for psychometric data regarding the dot-probe paradigm. The aim of the present study was to provide some data on the psychometric properties of the dot-probe paradigm in the context of pain-related research. Using the data of a large pain-free sample and a large chronic pain sample, the present study examined the psychometric properties of a picture- and word-based dot-probe task. It also examined the data of idiosyncratically selected stimuli designed to be relevant to each participant and compared this with the data of neutral stimuli and nonsalient pain-related stimuli. Poor levels of internal consistency (α range: -.44 to.28; split-half r range: -.35 to.11) and test-retest reliability (r range: -.14 to.13) were found among the pain-free sample, irrespective of the task used or the stimuli used. There was limited evidence of comparability between the 2 tasks among the chronic pain sample (r range: -.08 to.26) and similarly poor levels of internal-consistency (α range: -.56 to.17; split-half r range: -.20 to.25). The findings of the present study therefore suggest that psychometric issues may be important to pain-related attentional bias research. More research is, however, undoubtedly needed. Perspective: The aim of the present study was to provide data regarding the psychometric properties of the dot-probe paradigm within the specific context of pain-related attentional bias research. The findings of this study suggest that psychometric issues may be an important consideration in pain-related attentional biases research.