Article

Why worry? The cognitive function of anxiety.

Department of Psychology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803-5501.
Behaviour Research and Therapy (Impact Factor: 3.85). 02/1990; 28(6):455-68. DOI: 10.1016/0005-7967(90)90132-3
Source: PubMed

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.

7 Followers
 · 
303 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Intolerance of uncertainty and the overestimation of threat contribute to the maintenance of anxiety; however, the interaction between uncertainty and threat perception has not been examined empirically. The current study examined the extent to which explicitness of uncertainty is involved in perceptions of, and responses to, scenarios about threatening situations. A series of systematically varied scenarios were used to examine whether manipulating uncertainty (implicit vs. explicit) and threat level (high vs. low) altered the perception of a situation as anxiety-inducing. Undergraduate participants (n = 373) responded to vignettes about common situations (e.g. taking an elevator) with ratings of anxiety and desire to perform a safety behavior. Results revealed that higher threat situations, and those in which uncertainty was made explicit, provoked higher ratings of anxiety and urge to perform a safety behavior. In addition, explicit uncertainty significantly increased anxiety and urge to perform a safety behavior at low, but not at high, levels of threat. Participants rated (via self-report) their hypothetical feelings as induced by vignettes, rather than actually experiencing these situations in vivo. We found evidence for "uncertainty-based reasoning," in which an individual perceives a situation as more anxiety-provoking (and is more likely to have the urge to perform a safety behavior) when the uncertain aspects of a situation are obvious or explicit, than when such uncertainty is merely implied or tacit. Implications for the understanding of "uncertainty-based reasoning" are discussed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry 12/2014; 47C:111-119. DOI:10.1016/j.jbtep.2014.12.002 · 2.23 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: c Melda M. ERBAŞ is currently working at Aydın Vocational High School for as a school counselor and holds a master's degree in Psychological Counseling and Guidance. She has also been pursuing a doctoral degree in the field of Psychological Counseling and Guidance Abstract This study was designed as a qualitative focus group using a randomized controlled trail with a mixed methodology. The study has dual aims. First we searched the beliefs, attitudes and views of 176 university students on how to deal with anger using eight focus discussion groups. The anxiety and anger levels of these students were investigated with the Beck Anxiety Inventory and State Trait Anger Scale, and these values were accepted as pretest scores for the participants. The 32 students with the highest scores were selected. These students were randomized into study (n = 16 students) and control groups (n = 16 students). The participants in the study group received a behavioral therapy-oriented anger management skills training program consisting of 11 sessions, 90 minutes per session. After the program was completed the Beck Anxiety Inventory and State Trait Anger Scale were re-administered to both participants in the study and control groups, giving the post-test results. The study group attended two enhancement sessions, three and six months after the termination of the program, and these tests were then reapplied to both groups of participants (1st follow-up and 2nd follow-up tests). The findings revealed that the anxiety levels of the participants in the study group had decreased while statistically their anger control levels were significantly improved (p 0.001) compared to their pretest results. This positive effect for the study group was confirmed by the 3rd and 6th month follow-up tests (p 0.05) when these results were compared to the 1st and 2nd follow-up tests. However, there were no significant changes in the pre, post, 1st follow-up and 2nd follow-up results of both categories for the participants in the control group (p 0.05). In the focus group discussions, the students revealed that although they don't like angry people they believe that it is better to express their anger on other people. They usually talk with a close friend in order to cope with anger as a relaxation method. They mostly get angry when they believe that they face a situation where they have been treated unjustly and unfairly. Our results indicate that our program not only improved the anger control and anxiety management skills of the participants for the short term, but that this effect continued beyond this. The Beliefs, Attitudes and Views of University Students about Anger and the Effects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy-Oriented Anger Control and Anxiety Management Programs on Their Anger Management Skill Levels
    Educational Sciences: Theory and Practice 12/2014; 14(6):2071-2082. DOI:10.12738/estp.2014.6.2314 · 0.29 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: El libro presenta 14 capitulos escritos por estudiosos de los tópicos del aprendizaje asocaitivo mas relevanes en ese momento en España y Mexico.
    500 edited by Javier Vila, Javier Nieto & Juan M. Rosas, 06/2003; UNAM & Del Lunar. Jaen España., ISBN: 84-95331-15-2