Anxiety: The Cognitive Perspective (Hardback) book cover


The Cognitive Perspective

By Michael W. Eysenck

© 1992 – Psychology Press

208 pages

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Paperback: 9781138876927
pub: 2015-06-09
Hardback: 9780863770715
pub: 1992-06-26
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Theorists are increasingly arguing that it is fruitful to approach anxiety from the cognitive perspective, and the empirical evidence supports that contention. The cognitive perspective is also adopted in this book, but the approach represents a development and extension of earlier ones. For example, most previous theories and research have been based on anxiety either in clinical or in normal groups. In contrast, one of the central themes of this book is that there are great advantages to be gained from a joint consideration of clinical and normal anxiety.

Another theme of this book is that it is of major importance to establish whether or not there is a cognitive vulnerability factor which is associated with at least some forms of clinical anxiety. It is argued (with supporting evidence) that there is a latent cognitive vulnerability factor for generalized anxiety disorder which manifests itself under stressful conditions. This vulnerability factor is characterized by hypervigilance, and is found predominantly in normals high in the personality dimension of trait anxiety.

The scope of the book extends to the effects of anxiety on performance and to the phenomenon of worry, which is regarded as the cognitive component of anxiety. In both cases, a new theoretical framework is presented.


Despite having such a lengthy history to contend with, this book manages to break new ground in a number of directions…Eysenck explores the relationship between normal and clinical anxiety in considerable detail and rounds it off by presenting his own model of why some individuals are vulnerable to becoming clinically anxious…Emerging from an intelligent and considered review [of his research] is Eysenck's suggestion that some individuals are `hypervigilant to threat in their environment'. - Times Higher Education Supplement, 1993; Review by Tim Dalgleish

Table of Contents

Introduction. Theories of Anxiety and Cognition. Theoretical Framework. Attentional Processes. Comprehension and Memory. Worry. General Processing. Summary.

About the Series

Essays in Cognitive Psychology

Essays in Cognitive Psychology is designed to meet the need for rapid publication of brief volumes in cognitive psychology.

Primary topics include perception, movement and action, attention, memory, mental representation, language and problem solving.

Furthermore, the series seeks to define cognitive psychology in its broadest sense, encompassing all topics either informed by, or informing, the study of mental processes. As such, it covers a wide range of subjects including computational approaches to cognition, cognitive neuroscience, social cognition, and cognitive development, as well as areas more traditionally defined as cognitive psychology.

Each volume in the series makes a conceptual contribution to the topic by reviewing and synthesizing the existing research literature, by advancing theory in the area, or by some combination of these missions.

The principal aim is that authors provide an overview of their own highly successful research program in an area.

Volumes also include an assessment of current knowledge and identification of possible future trends in research.

Each book is a self-contained unit supplying the advanced reader with a well-structured review of the work described and evaluated.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Cognitive Psychology