Information-Processing Approaches to Understanding Anxiety Disorders

Richard J. McNally and Hannah E. Reese

in Oxford Handbook of Anxiety and Related Disorders

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780195307030
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Information-Processing Approaches to Understanding Anxiety Disorders


Experimental psychopathologists have used cognitive psychology paradigms to elucidate information-processing biases in the anxiety disorders. A vast literature now suggests that patients with anxiety disorders are characterized by an attentional bias for threatening information and a bias toward threatening interpretations of ambiguous information. A memory bias favoring recall of threatening information occurs in panic disorder, but rarely in other anxiety disorders. New treatments involving the experimental modification of cognitive biases are promising.

Keywords: attention; attentional bias; bias; cognitive bias modification; covariation bias; interpretive bias; memory

Article.  12861 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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