Georg W Alpers

Georg W Alpers
Universität Mannheim · Department of Psychology

Professor

About

259
Publications
93,012
Reads
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7,291
Citations
Citations since 2016
98 Research Items
4610 Citations
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Introduction
Georg W Alpers is full professor at the Department of Psychology, School of Social Sciences at the University of Mannheim. Georg does research in Clinical Psychology, Abnormal Psychology and Psychophysiology. He is the head of the University's outpatient psychotherapy center.
Additional affiliations
April 2010 - present
Universität Mannheim
Position
  • Professor (Full)
October 2007 - September 2008
Bielefeld University
Position
  • Professor
March 2001 - March 2010
University of Wuerzburg
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)

Publications

Publications (259)
Article
Full-text available
Previous research suggests that state anxiety may sway political attitudes. However, previous experimental procedures induced anxiety using political contexts (e.g., social or economic threat). In a pre-registered laboratory experiment, we set out to examine if anxiety that is unrelated to political contexts can influence political attitudes. We in...
Article
Recently, we demonstrated that the peak-end memory bias, which is well established in the context of pain, can also be observed in anxiety: Retrospective evaluations of a frightening experience are worse when peak anxiety is experienced at the end of an episode. Here, we set out to conceptually replicate and extend this finding with rigorous experi...
Article
Full-text available
Common variation in the gene encoding the neuron-specific RNA splicing factor RNA Binding Fox-1 Homolog 1 ( RBFOX1 ) has been identified as a risk factor for several psychiatric conditions, and rare genetic variants have been found causal for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Here, we explored the genetic landscape of RBFOX1 more deeply, integrating...
Article
Background: The Adult Dyspraxia/DCD Checklist (ADC) is the only existing self-report questionnaire to screen adults for potential Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). It was developed in English and Hebrew, however, its factor structure has not yet been assessed. Aims: The goals of the current study were to (1) develop and refine a German tr...
Article
Full-text available
Objective Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) persist into adulthood; however, little research exists to describe how adults with DCD and/or ADHD cope with their symptoms. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate coping mechanisms reported by adults with DCD, ADHD, or both con...
Article
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Background Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder primarily characterized by fine and gross motor coordination difficulties. Yet, many aspects remain unclear regarding the clinical presentation of secondary symptoms and their implications for Clinical Psychology. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to...
Article
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Introduction: Smartphones are often helpful in our everyday lives. Yet, they also tend to interrupt us during other activities. It has been argued that such distractions contribute to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder-like symptoms. However, since there are mostly correlational studies, the causal nature of this relationship is unclear. Our...
Article
Machine learning (ML) may help to predict successful psychotherapy outcomes and identify relevant predictors of success. So far, ML applications are scant in psychotherapy research and typically based on small samples or focused on specific diagnoses. In this study, we predict successful therapy outcomes with ML in a heterogeneous sample in routine...
Article
It is a defining feature of anxiety disorders that fear is elicited by a circumscribed class of stimuli rather than by only one specific exemplar of that class. Therefore, fear generalization, a mechanism by which associative fear extends from one conditioned stimulus to similar cues, has been central to theories on anxiety. Yet, experimental evide...
Article
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Objective: Patient-centered care and shared decision making (SDM) are generally recognized as the gold standard for medical consultations, especially for preference-sensitive decisions. However, little is known about psychological patient characteristics that influence patient-reported preferences. We set out to explore the role of personality and...
Article
Purpose: Adolescence is a delicate phase during life in which self-stigmatization increases and acceptance by peers becomes more important. However, little is known about how adolescents with cleft lip and/or palate experience this stage of life. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate how cleft lip and/or palate (CLP) adolescents...
Article
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Automatic facial coding (AFC) is a novel research tool to automatically analyze emotional facial expressions. AFC can classify emotional expressions with high accuracy in standardized picture inventories of intensively posed and prototypical expressions. However, classification of facial expressions of untrained study participants is more error pro...
Preprint
Full-text available
**Advanced Author Manuscript available on PsychArchives. For upcoming publication in Clinical Psychology in Europe** Background: Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder primarily characterized by fine and gross motor coordination difficulties. Yet, many aspects remain unclear regarding the clinical present...
Article
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One of the most robust findings in psychopathology is the fact that specific phobias are more prevalent in women than in men. Although there are several theoretical accounts for biological and social contributions to this gender difference, empirical data are surprisingly limited. Interestingly, there is evidence that individuals with stereotypical...
Article
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PurposeThis study aims to determine the degree of shared decision-making (SDM) from urological patients’ perspective and to identify possible predictors. Methods Overall, 469 urological patients of a university outpatient clinic were recruited for this prospective study. Before a medical consultation, clinical and sociodemographic information, and...
Article
What we see is the result of an efficient selection of cues in the visual stream. Not only physical characteristics but also emotional salience influences this process. Previously, we showed in spider phobic patients that fear-related pictures gain preferential access to consciousness in binocular rivalry. We set out to replicate this in an indepen...
Article
Objective Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been well established in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In recent years, researchers have begun to investigate its underlying mechanisms of change. Dysfunctional cognitive content, i.e. excessively negative appraisals of the trauma or its consequences, has been shown to predic...
Article
PurposeAlthough psychological distress has a negative impact on functional recovery, institutionalisation and mortality rates, there is typically no established procedure to screen for psychological distress in geriatric rehabilitation. The aim of the study was to evaluate a brief single-item Verbal Numerical Rating Scale (VNRS-PD) as a screening t...
Article
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Panic disorder (PD) has a lifetime prevalence of 2–4% and heritability estimates of 40%. The contributory genetic variants remain largely unknown, with few and inconsistent loci having been reported. The present report describes the largest genome-wide association study (GWAS) of PD to date comprising genome-wide genotype data of 2248 clinically we...
Article
The use of standardized patients (SPs) in the training of prospective practitioners is a well-established didactic tool in medical schools. Only recently have simulations of patients in psychotherapy been introduced into the training of psychologists. By integrating psychotherapy training into university-level master’s programs, German law now requ...
Poster
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Sample • N = 38 dyads of girls (M = 7.66 years; SD = 1.28) and their mothers (M = 39.63 years; SD = 1.28) Measures • Hierarchical multiple regression analysis • Dependent variables: girls' level of fear → self-reported (SNAQ, PHOKI) and behavioral (BAT) • Independent variables: mothers' self-reported level of fear (SNAQ, FSS), implicit (IAT) and ex...
Article
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Emotional facial expressions can inform researchers about an individual's emotional state. Recent technological advances open up new avenues to automatic Facial Expression Recognition (FER). Based on machine learning, such technology can tremendously increase the amount of processed data. FER is now easily accessible and has been validated for the...
Article
Context Decision aids (DAs) aim to support patients in the process of shared decision-making for complex treatment decisions. To improve patient-centered care in uro-oncology, it is essential to evaluate the availability and quality of existing DAs. Objective To assess the quality of existing DAs for patients across the most prevalent uro-oncologi...
Poster
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Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are neurodevelopmental disorders which are each estimated to impact 5% of the population. DCD involves deficits in learning and executing coordinated motor functions but also may impact executive functions. On the other hand, ADHD primarily involves inatte...
Poster
Developmental Coordination Disorder is a complex condition that occurs often but is not widely known. Substantial information gaps about DCD have even been reported for clinicians. This gap may be particularly wide in outside of Anglo-Saxon countries. In addition, comparisons of symptomatic knowledge between DCD and similar neurodevelopmental disor...
Article
Further developments of exposure-based therapy (EBT) require more knowledge about transfer of treatment to non-trained everyday contexts. However, little is known about transfer effects of EBT. Using a standardized EBT protocol in 275 patients with panic disorder and agoraphobia we investigated the transfer of EBT to a highly standardized context d...
Article
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Theoretically, panic disorder and agoraphobia pathology can be conceptualized as a cascade of dynamically changing defensive responses to threat cues from inside the body. Guided by this trans-diagnostic model we tested the interaction between defensive activation and vagal control as a marker of prefrontal inhibition of subcortical defensive activ...
Article
Objective The COVID-19 pandemic pushed some of the most well-developed health care systems to their limits. In many cases, this has challenged patient-centered care. We set out to examine individuals’ attitudes toward shared decision making (SDM) and to identify predictors of participation preference during the pandemic. Methods We conducted an on...
Article
Decoding someone's facial expressions provides insights into his or her emotional experience. Recently, Automatic Facial Coding (AFC) software has been developed to provide measurements of emotional facial expressions. Previous studies provided first evidence for the sensitivity of such systems to detect facial responses in study participants. In t...
Article
Full-text available
Developmental Coordination Disorder and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder are unique neurodevelopmental disorders with overlaps in executive functions and motor control. The conditions co-occur in up to 50% of cases, raising questions of the pathological mechanisms of DCD versus ADHD. Few studies have examined these overlaps in adults with D...
Article
Previous research has documented that fearful individuals avoid fear-relevant cues even if they incur costs in doing so. Paradigms that were previously used to study avoidance in the lab, manipulated reward contingencies in favor of selecting either fear-relevant or neutral cues, e.g., spiders versus butterflies. We, thus, developed a paradigm wher...
Article
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Visual scene processing is modulated by semantic, motivational, and emotional factors, in addition to physical scene statistics. An open question is to what extent those factors affect low‐level visual processing. One index of low‐level visual processing is the contrast response function (CRF), representing the change in neural or psychophysical ga...
Article
Erratum zu: Im Fokus Onkologie. 2020;23(6):59-63Im Beitrag hatte sich in der Autorenzeile ein Fehler eingeschlichen.Die Autoren des Beitrags lauten: Prof. Dr. med. Maximilian Kriegmair, Klinik für Urologie und Urochirurgie, Medizinisc...
Article
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Stress and anxiety can both influence risk-taking in decision-making. While stress typically increases risk-taking, anxiety often leads to risk-averse choices. Few studies have examined both stress and anxiety in a single paradigm to assess risk-averse choices. We therefore set out to examine emotional decision-making under stress in socially anxio...
Article
There is a recurring debate on the role of the serotonin transporter gene linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) in the moderation of response to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in anxiety disorders. Results, however, are still inconclusive. We here aim to perform a meta-analysis on the role of 5-HTTLPR in the moderation of CBT outcome in anxiety...
Article
Patient empowerment includes measures that promote their autonomy and self-determination in the physician–patient relationship. In addition to successful medical treatment, goals include long-term treatment satisfaction and the best possible quality of life for the patients and their social environment. Various initiatives and projects from German...
Article
Digital communication is omnipresent. In everyday life, social messenger apps are very popular. Thus, for some patients1 it seems intuitive to use such media to correspond with their professional therapists as well. From a practical perspective, this seems to be advantageous for the therapists themselves. However, this should not lead us to overloo...
Article
Objectives: Emotional distress can be a potential barrier to shared decision making (SDM), yet affect is typically not systematically assessed in medical consultation. We examined whether urological patients report anxiety or depression prior to a consultation and if emotional distress predicts decisional conflict thereafter. Methods: We recruited...
Article
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In the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, media reports have caused anxiety and distress in many. In some individuals, feeling distressed by information may lead to avoidance of information, which has been shown to undermine compliance with preventive health behaviors in many health domains (e.g., cancer screenings). We set out t...
Article
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While DNA methylation patterns have been studied for a role in the pathogenesis of anxiety disorders, the role of the enzymes establishing DNA methylation—DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs)—has yet to be investigated. In an effort to investigate DNMT genotype-specific effects on dimensional anxiety traits in addition to the categorical phenotype of pan...
Article
The face of a friend indicates safety, the face of a foe can indicate threat. Here, we examine the effects of verbal instructions (‘beware of this person’) on the perception of unknown persons. Focusing on visual attention, face identity and facial expression information is examined during instructed threat-of-shock or safety. However, shocks never...
Article
Full-text available
Facial expressions provide insight into a person’s emotional experience. To automatically decode these expressions has been made possible by tremendous progress in the field of computer vision. Researchers are now able to decode emotional facial expressions with impressive accuracy in standardized images of prototypical basic emotions. We tested th...
Article
Hintergrund: Aufgrund der aktuellen Reform der Ausbildung zum Psychotherapeuten1 kommen auf die universitäre Lehre im Fach Psychologie neue didaktische Herausforderungen zu. Zusätzlich zum allerorts gut etablierten wissenschaftlichen Curriculum werden neue Module zur Vermittlung praktischer Kompetenzen benötigt, um den umfangreichen Anforderungen a...
Article
For the realm of visual cues, it has been well documented that attention is preferentially oriented toward emotionally relevant cues. Preliminary evidence suggests that emotional cues from other sensory modalities may also steer visual attention toward emotional pictures. However, more research is needed to elucidate the mechanisms that are involve...
Poster
Purpose: In oncology, patients are confronted with complex treatment- decisions. Discrete treatment options may be equally effective and supported by medical evidence while they may differ in their impact on a specific patient’s life. Therefore, options are ideally selected with active involvement of the patient; a process called shared decision ma...
Poster
Purpose: Receiving or anticipating a serious diagnosis like cancer can be a profound experience and ofen results in negative emotional responses. Such negative affect may influence how conflicted patients feel about treatment choices. This poses a potential barrier to shared decision making (SDM). Yet, affect is typically not systematically assesse...
Article
Ein Erratum zu dieser Publikation wurde veröffentlicht: https://doi.org/10.1007/00120-020-01415-2
Article
Anxiety can boost the detection of potential threats in many ways. There is evidence that one and the same facial expression can be perceived differently depending on whether it is seen in a neutral or in a threatening situation. The present study investigated how aversive anticipation influences the accuracy of facial emotion recognition and the p...
Article
Fear generalization is thought to be an important mechanism in the acquisition and maintenance of anxiety disorders. Previous studies have investigated fear generalization within one sensory modality - mainly within the visual domain. However, a growing body of evidence shows that emotional information is processed in more than one sensory modality...
Article
Digitale Kommunikation ist aus dem Alltag nicht mehr wegzudenken; im privaten Bereich sind insbesondere soziale Messenger-Dienste weit verbreitet. So scheint es für manche Patienten1 nahliegend zu sein, solche Kommunikationsmittel auch für die Kommunikation mit ihren professionellen Behandlern zu verwenden. Aus organisatorischen Gründen scheint die...
Article
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Background: Employees insured in pension insurance, who are incapable of working due to ill health, are entitled to a disability pension. To assess whether an individual meets the medical requirements to be considered as disabled, a work capacity evaluation is conducted. However, there are no official guidelines on how to perform an external quali...
Article
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Although it is an adaptive mechanism that danger usually elicits fear, it seems that fearful individuals overestimate the danger associated with their feared objects or situations. Previous research has not systematically distinguished between the estimated risk of an encounter with fear-relevant stimuli and the expected unpleasant outcomes of such...
Article
Full-text available
The peak-end memory bias has been well documented for the retrospective evaluation of pain. It describes that the retrospective evaluation of pain is largely based on the discomfort experienced at the most intense point (peak) and at the end of the episode. This is notable because it means that longer episodes with a better ending can be remembered...
Article
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Major depressive disorder and the anxiety disorders are highly prevalent, disabling and moderately heritable. Depression and anxiety are also highly comorbid and have a strong genetic correlation (rg ≈ 1). Cognitive behavioural therapy is a leading evidence-based treatment but has variable outcomes. Currently, there are no strong predictors of outc...
Article
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Research on ADHD in children and adolescents has traditionally focused on the genetic and neurobiological aspects of the disorder, but the role of family relationships has been much less systematically examined. There is growing evidence that the quality of interparental relationships and a child’s ADHD symptoms are reciprocally related. Because th...
Article
Individuals who frequently experience nightmares report compromised sleep quality, poor daytime mood, and functioning. Previous research has aimed at linking these impairments with altered sleep architecture, but results were inconclusive. One plausible explanation is that only a few studies recorded markers of autonomic nervous system activity. Fo...
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Background Although cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is highly effective in the treatment of anxiety disorders, many patients still do not benefit. This study investigates whether a history of traumatic event experience is negatively associated with outcomes of CBT for panic disorder. The moderating role of the monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) gene and...
Article
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Preclinical studies point to a pivotal role of the orexin 1 (OX1) receptor in arousal and fear learning and therefore suggest the HCRTR1 gene as a prime candidate in panic disorder (PD) with/without agoraphobia (AG), PD/AG treatment response, and PD/AG-related intermediate phenotypes. Here, a multilevel approach was applied to test the non-synonymo...
Article
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Increased sympathetic noradrenergic signaling is crucially involved in fear and anxiety as defensive states. MicroRNAs regulate dynamic gene expression during synaptic plasticity and genetic variation of microRNAs modulating noradrenaline transporter gene (SLC6A2) expression may thus lead to altered central and peripheral processing of fear and anx...
Article
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Abstract Psychological research has long acknowledged that facial expressions can implicitly trigger affective psychophysiological responses. However, whether verbal information can alter the meaning of facial emotions and corresponding response patterns has not been tested. This study examined emotional facial expressions as cues for instructed th...
Article
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It is generally thought to be adaptive that fear relevant stimuli in the environment can capture and hold our attention; and in psychopathology attentional allocation is thought to be cue-specific. Such hypervigilance toward threatening cues or difficulty to disengage attention from threat has been demonstrated for a variety of stimuli, for example...
Article
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Background: The German quality assurance programme for evaluating work capacity is based on peer review that evaluates the quality of medical experts' reports. Low reliability is thought to be due to systematic differences among peers. For this purpose, we developed a curriculum for a standardized peer-training (SPT). This study investigates, whet...
Article
Childhood abuse and neglect are associated with dissociative symptoms in adulthood. However, empirical studies show heterogeneous results depending on the type of childhood abuse or neglect and other maltreatment characteristics. In this meta-analysis, we systematically investigated the relationship between childhood interpersonal maltreatment and...
Article
Background and Objectives The reduction of avoidance behavior is a central target in the treatment of anxiety disorders, but it has rarely been studied how approach of fear-relevant stimuli may be initiated. In two studies, the impact of hypothetical monetary and symbolic social incentives on approach-avoidance behavior was examined. Methods In Stu...