The Reduction of Anxiety Vulnerability - Critique Paper

Essay by Manuels1999University, Bachelor's March 2009

download word file, 9 pages 4.3

Reduction of Anxiety VulnerabilityAffecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older which is over U.S. (Anxiety Disorder Association of America, 2009). Anxiety disorders are characterized in six illnesses: generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder and social anxiety disorder. As noted by the ADAA (2009), the first four listed are twice as likely to affect women verses men. Obsessive-compulsive and social anxiety disorders are equally common among both sexes. Out of all, phobias take the biggest toll on Americans affecting 19 million individuals. According to the associations research statistics about anxiety, anxiety disorders cost the U.S. more than $42 billion a year, almost one-third of the country's $148 billion total mental health bill. Those who have anxiety are six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders than those who do not suffer from anxiety disorders. People with anxiety disorders often suffer from other mental health disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, alcohol use, eating disorders and sleep disorders.

Theoretical Rationale and/or Background of the StudyAs Bridle ( ) explained, across recent years, evidence has accumulated that the disposition to selectively allocate attention toward emotionally negative stimuli is associated with heightened anxiety vulnerability. Individuals low in anxiety vulnerability more commonly direct attention away from such negative information. These anxiety-related differences in attentional bias have often been demonstrated with the attentional probe task developed by MacLeod, Mathews, and Tata (1986).

Question Asked by the Investigators/HypothesisInvestigators was curious as to whether the “modification of attentional bias can serve to attenuate state anxiety reactions to the types of stressful life events encountered in naturalistic settings or can impact conventional measures of trait anxiety.” ( Bridle, , para 3). Therefore, they carried out their home-based cognitive bias modification study hypothesizing that biased attentional responding to...