Elevated evidence requirements and worry

Tallis and Eysenck (cited in Eysenck, 1992) have suggested that worriers have elevated evidence requirements; that is, in order to make a decision, a worrier must spend more time weighing up the relevant information in memory and in the environment. As Tallis (1991b, p. 22) suggests, "a worrier has to be absolutely sure that he or she is doing 'the right thing', before a decision can be made". Tallis (1989) cites a study by

Zaslow (1950) in which worriers, when shown a continuum of geometric figures, are less likely than non-worriers to accept imperfect exemplars. Furthermore, the number of ambiguous figures rejected (the elevated evidence requirement measure) was significantly correlated with a worry frequency measure. In a similar experiment, Tallis, Eysenck, and Mathews (1991b) presented participants with the alphabet randomly distributed on a computer screen. Participants had to generate a reaction time response to the presence or absence of a target letter. There was no difference between individuals on target-present trials; however, on target-absent trials high worriers showed a significant response delay, which the authors interpreted as support for an explanation in terms of elevated evidence requirements. That is, when the target did not "pop out", according to the authors, the worrier continued to search for the target for longer than the non-worrier to ensure that it really was absent. Ladouceur, Blais, Freeston, and Dugas (1998) found that individuals with GAD reported lower levels of problem-solving confidence, which would further support the Tallis and Eysenck proposal.

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Anxiety and Depression 101

Anxiety and Depression 101

Everything you ever wanted to know about. We have been discussing depression and anxiety and how different information that is out on the market only seems to target one particular cure for these two common conditions that seem to walk hand in hand.

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