Taxometrics is a statistical tool that can be used to discern psychopathological categories from continua. In this study, taxometric analyses were conducted to determine whether a psychopathological category (or taxon) underlies a cognitive vulnerability to panic (i.e., fear of anxiety symptoms and body vigilance). The construct was operationalized with 3 variables: the Anxiety Sensitivity Index, the Body Sensations Questionnaire, and the Body Vigilance Scale. The test was performed in a large nonclinical sample (N = 1,224). Analyses and consistency tests support the taxonic conjecture for the existence of a latent cognitive vulnerability taxon with a base rate of about 18% in this population. Moreover, tests of the taxon's utility indicated that taxon membership has incremental validity in predicting future panic attacks.
- Cognitive vulnerability
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Clinical Psychology