Why worry? The cognitive function of anxiety.
ABSTRACT The phenomenon of worry is considered to arise from cognitive processes involved in anxiety, that serve to maintain high levels of vigilance for personal danger. Rather than rely on self-report alone, the research described here draws on information processing methodology, to investigate this hypothesized cognitive function. Evidence is summarized to show that anxious subjects selectively attend to threatening information, and interpret ambiguous events in a relatively threatening way. However, the evidence on memory suggests that although such information may be easily activated, it is not necessarily more accessible. The allocation of attentional priority to threatening information is seen as a characteristic of anxious (rather than depressed) mood, while the ease with which this processing mode is adopted may underlie trait anxiety and vulnerability to anxiety disorders.
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ABSTRACT: Most theories of affective influences on judgement and choice take a valence-based approach, contrasting the effects of positive versus negative feeling states. These approaches have not specified if and when distinct emotions of the same valence have different effects on judgement. In this article, we propose a model of emotion-specific influences on judgement and choice. We posit that each emotion is defined by a tendency to perceive new events and objects in ways that are consistent with the original cognitive-appraisal dimensions of the emotion. To pit the valence and appraisal-tendency approaches against one another, we present a study that addresses whether two emotions of the same valence but differing appraisals—anger and fear—relate in different ways to risk perception. Consistent with the appraisal-tendency hypothesis, fearful people made pessimistic judgements of future events whereas angry people made optimistic judgements. In the Discussion we expand the proposed model and review evidence supporting two social moderators of appraisal-tendency processes.Cognition and Emotion 01/2000; 14:473-493. · 2.52 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Purpose/Objectives: To examine perceived cognitive effectiveness and worry in individuals with suspected lung cancer before and after surgical resection and to determine any differences between individuals with and without a postoperative diagnosis of lung cancer.Design: A repeated measures longitudinal design.Setting: A comprehensive cancer center and a Veterans Administration medical center in the midwestern United States.Sample: 15 men and 8 women aged 37-82 years (X = 61.4, SD = 10.7) with suspected lung cancer.Methods: Descriptive statistics were used to characterize data. Paired t tests and nonparametric correlation analysis were used to determine relationships among the main study variables.Main Research Variables: Perceived effectiveness in cognitive function as well as general and cancer-specific worry.Findings: Patients diagnosed with lung cancer were significantly older. Patients self-reported lowered perceived effectiveness in daily activities that require directed attention both pre- and postoperatively. Patients with nonmalignant postoperative reports had higher general worry at each time point, which was significant following surgery.Conclusions: A diagnosis of suspected lung cancer may contribute to compromised perceived effectiveness in cognitive function. Nonmalignant pathology following a diagnosis of suspected lung cancer may be associated with continued worry.Implications for Nursing: Nursing assessment and interventions aimed at supporting effective cognitive function and modifying worry for patients with suspected lung cancer are essential to optimize adjustment.Knowledge Translation: Suspected lung cancer imposes high demands on cognitive and emotional function. Oncology nurses are in key positions to support patients during and following the diagnostic workup for lung cancer. Younger patients with nonmalignant postoperative reports may need continued follow-up.Oncology Nursing Forum 05/2013; 40(3):E135-41. · 1.91 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Fumaria indica L. in Ayurveda is known as Parpat and traditionally used to calm the brain. Due to lack of scientific validation, 50% ethanolic extract of F. indica L. (FI) was evaluated for putative cognitive function modulating effects. Suspension of FI in 0.3% carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) was orally administered to rats during the entire experimental period of 16 days at dose levels of 100, 200, and 400 mg/kg/day. Piracetam was used as standard nootropic. Behavioral models of learning and memory used were modified elevated plus-maze (M-EPM) and passive avoidance (PA) tests. Scopolamine (I mg/kg, s.c.), sodium nitrite (25 mg/kg, i.p.), and electroconvulsive shock (150 mA, 0.2 sec) were used to induce amnesia. Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity, muscarinic receptor density, oxidative status, and cytokine expressions [tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin (IL)-1β, and IL-10] were also assessed. Piracetam (500 mg/kg/day)-like memory-enhancing and anti-amnesic activity of the extract was observed. FI showed dose-dependent decrease in brain AChE activity and increase in muscarinic receptor density, and such was also the case for its observed beneficial effects on the brain antioxidative status. FI also inhibited the scopolamine-induced overexpression of the three tested cytokines observed in rat's brain. FI possesses nootropic-like beneficial effects on cognitive functions.Ayu. 10/2013; 34(4):421-9.