Anxiety and Cognition

A Unified Theory

By Michael Eysenck

© 1997 – Psychology Press

208 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9781138883017
pub: 2015-06-24
US Dollars$49.95
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Hardback: 9780863774782
pub: 1997-05-13
US Dollars$140.00
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About the Book

It is argued in this book that there are three major approaches to anxiety. First, there is anxiety as an emotional state. Second, there is trait anxiety as a dimension of personality. Third, there is anxiety as a set of anxiety disorders. What is attempted is to produce a unified theory of anxiety which integrates all these major approaches. According to this unified theory, there are four sources of information which influence the level of experienced anxiety: (1) experimental stimulation; (2) internal physiological activity; (3) internal cognitions, (e.g., worries); and (4) one's own behaviour. The unified theory is essentially based on a cognitive approach. More specifically, it is assumed that individual differences in experienced anxiety between those high and low in trait anxiety depend largely on cognitive biases. It is also assumed that the various anxiety disorders depend on cognitive biases, and that the main anxiety disorders differ in terms of the source of information most affected by such biases (e.g., social phobics have biased interpretation of their own behaviour). In sum, this book presents a general theory of anxiety from the cognitive perspective. It is intended that this theory will influence theory and research on emotion, personality, and the anxiety disorders.

Reviews

This interesting monograph, written by one of the world's leading authorities on cognition and emotion, provides a persuasive synthesis of cutting edge research on the cognitive aspects of anxiety. In particular, Professor Eysenck's emphasis on the "repressor" processing style is likely to have a major impact on work in this area. Researchers in personality psychology and experimental psychopathology will surely benefit by reading this book. - Richard J. McNally (Harvard University)

I enjoyed reading this book - it was very interesting and written in a very clear and accessible style. It provides a careful review of a wide range of literature dealing with anxiety primarily from a cognitive perspective. The four factor theory provides a most useful framework for considering the complex and divergent literature on information processing biases in nonclinical and clinical anxiety, and on cognitive therapy for anxiety disorders. - Karin Mogg (University of Cambridge)

This book represents an admirable attempt to integrate experimental research on the cognitive aspects of anxiety with the clinical application of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to the treatment of anxiety disorders…An especially useful feature is the highlighting of some unique clinical problems that need to be addressed by cognitive models of anxiety…a very nice summary of experimental approaches to the clinical aspects of the main anxiety disorders. - Elaine Fox (University of Essex)

Table of Contents

Theories of Trait Anxiety. A Four-factor Theory of Anxiety. A New Theory of Trait Anxiety. Theoretical Approaches to Clinical Anxiety. Clinical Experimental Evidence. Cognitive-behaviour Therapy.

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.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSY008000
PSYCHOLOGY / Cognitive Psychology