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Patterns of situational appraisal in experiences of worry and anxiety

By Joachim Stoeber and Marion Muijs

Abstract

Three studies investigating differences in people's appraisals of worry and anxiety situations are presented. First, data from a study by Reisenzein & Spielhofer (1994) were reanalyzed. Second, two further studies were conducted to replicate the findings of the reanalysis and to explore whether any additional appraisal dimensions were relevant for a differentiation of worry and anxiety situations. In sum, results showed that appraisals associated with situations in which worry and anxiety were experienced differed on eight appraisal dimensions. Compared to experiences of anxiety, experiences of worry were more often associated with positive self-evaluation, positive social-relationship evaluation, feelings of closeness, and sentiments of importance, and less often associated with feelings of inferiority. Moreover, in worry experiences, focus was often not on the self, but on other persons. Finally, with respect to temporal dimensions, worry situations were less often associated with notions of suddenness and momentariness than anxiety situations. Implications of these findings are discussed with respect to models of emotional appraisal and research on worry and generalized anxiety disorder

Topics: BF
Publisher: Routledge
Year: 2001
OAI identifier: oai:kar.kent.ac.uk:4480

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