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What is anxiety?
 Anxiety is state of tension
 Anxiety is generally defined as a psychological
emotional state or reaction
 An anxiety state consists of unpleasant feelings of
tension, apprehension, nervousness and worry and
activation of the autonomic nervous system
3 types of anxiety
Reality anxiety
Neurotic anxiety
Moral anxiety
Two types of anxiety according to
(Spielberg, 1956, 1988)
 State anxiety
 Trait Anxiety
Types of Anxiety
(related to psychotic behavior)
 Panic Disorder
 Agoraphobia
 Specific Phobias
 Social Phobias
 Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
 Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
 Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Theories on Anxiety
Reformulated learned-helplessness theory Martin Seligman (1975)
human beings subjected to
uncontrollabe negative events in life
will eventually learn to be helpless and
will become chronically depressed and
heighten the anxiety level.
Anxiety from Big
Anxiety – comes under the
Neuroticism domain
Anxiety, depression, nervousness,
vulnerability, self-consciousness
Negative affectivity (Watson &
Tellegen, 1985)
Studies on Neuroticism
 People high in Neuroticism are lonelier (Stokes, 1985)
 Less satisfied with interpersonal relationships in
their lives (Atkinson & Volato, 1994)
 People with depression and generalized (Eysenck &
Eysenck, 1985)
 College students high in N report more stress
symptoms and higher levels of homesickness
(Matthews & Deary, 1998)
Instruments to
measure anxiety
 Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scales (MAS-Taylor, 1953),
 Cattell’s Trait and State Anxiety Measures (Cattell and
Scheier, 1963),
 Affect Adjective Check List (AACL – Zuckerman and
Lubin, 1965)
 SCL-90 Symptom Check List (SCL-90 – Derogatis et al.,
 Profile of Mood States (POMS-McNair et al, 1971)
Dimensions of Anxiety
 Physiological
 The sympathetic nervous system and other
neurological and hormonal processes designed to help
prepare your body to cope with threatening situations
are activated.
 Cognitive
 When confronted with an anxiety-provoking situation,
your ability to organize and recall information
becomes impaired.
Dimensions of Anxiety
 Behavioral
 The presence of anxiety produces behavioral patterns
characterized by awkwardness, defensiveness, and
 Manifest Anxiety Scale (MAS)
 The scale provides a measure of anxiety based on
items assessing the three basic dimensions of anxiety.
Theoretical Viewpoints
of Anxiety
 Psychodynamic Viewpoint
 Anxiety serves as a warning signal that unacceptable
unconscious awareness.
 Learning Viewpoint
 Anxiety is a conditioned emotional response to a
stimulus that signals the possibility of a danger to the
 Drive Viewpoint
 Anxiety is a driving force that serves to increase the
likelihood of a well-learned response being performed.
Theoretical Viewpoints
of Anxiety
 Evolutionary Viewpoint
 Anxiety creates a state of emotional distress that
serves to prompt a pattern of adaptation to a threat in
order to maximize survival.
 Integrating the Viewpoints
 Anxiety is a signal of impending danger acquired by
the process of conditioning that triggers action by the
State and Trait Anxiety
 State Anxiety. The type of transitory anxiety you
normally experience when exposed to a threatening
 A temporary increase in the level of anxiety occurs in
response to situations perceived as potentially dangerous.
 Trait anxiety. A heightened level of anxiety characteristic
of normal individuals who might be described as
 The “anxious individual” perceives many situations as
threatening and responds to them with increased anxiety.
State and Trait Anxiety
 State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). An objective
self-report measure assessing both state anxiety and
trait anxiety.
 Individuals can receive a score for both their current
level of anxiety and their persistent level of anxiety.
The Assessment,
Dynamics, and
 Assessment of Test Anxiety.
 Anxious reactions associated with stimuli and situations
specifically related to taking tests, as a result of tests being
perceived as a threat to the individual’s ego, are
 Dynamics of High and Low Test-Anxiety Individuals.
 Individuals high and low in test anxiety differ in their
behavioral, evaluative, and cognitive responses to the
testing situation.
 Overcoming Test Anxiety.
 Overcoming test anxiety involves replacing self-defeating
thoughts with more rational thinking during the testing
situation, overlearning the test material, learning to relax
and associating the testing situation with rewards.
The Classification and
Explanation of Anxiety
 Classification of Anxiety Disorders
 Panic disorder
 An acute, intense feeling of anxiety that can appear
unexpectedly and serve to immobilize the individual.
 Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
 A chronic and pervasive sense of uneasiness that can
make everyday functioning difficult, but not
The Classification and
Explanation of Anxiety
 Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
 An obsession is the sense of anxiety that is created by the
persistent occurrence of rather unacceptable thought that
the individual fears may actually be executed.
 A compulsion is the sense of anxiety created by an
uncontrollable urge to carry out repeatedly by a particular
course of action.
 Phobic Disorder
 The sense of anxiety created by the unrealistic and excessive
fear of being isolated in a public place, possible humiliation
or a specific object.
The Classification and
Explanation of Anxiety
 Explanation of Anxiety
 Psychodynamic Explanation
 result of unconscious conflicts that appear in the form of
pathological behavior, such as the avoidance of certain
objects or a constant sense of apprehension.
 Learning Explanation
 result of faulty learning involving inappropriate
associations, such as pairing the sight of a snake with
feelings of extreme uneasiness, or erroneous assumptions
about the consequences of behavior, such as bad luck
being avoided by walking around a ladder.
The Classification and
Explanation of Anxiety
 Cognitive Explanation
 result of individuals maintaining a set of thoughts and
beliefs that serve to foster a sense of intense fear, such as
overestimating the amount of fear associated with an
object or situation, endorsing self-defeating or irrational
beliefs, being overly sensitive to situational cues,
misinterpreting bodily sensations, and espousing low selfefficacy expectations.
 Neurological Explanation
 result of an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain
that creates increased levels of arousal. They can be
treated by drugs that serve to reestablish the balance of
neurotransmitters to regulate the level of emotional
The Application of
 Anxiety in Advertising
 A fear appeal is a form of advertising that utilizes anxiety
as a means of motivating the consumer into action. Positive
appeals emphasize how the use of the product will reduce
the consumer’s anxiety, while negative appeals emphasize
how failure to use the product will increase the
consumer’s anxiety.
 The successful use of fear appeals involves an ad that
creates a moderate level of anxiety, which is followed by a
specific recommendation designed to reduce the
consumer’s anxiety and reinforce acting upon the
The Application of
 Anxiety in Social Situation
 Shyness consists of an affective, cognitive, and behavioral
component. Three types of shyness are public, private and
socially anxious shyness. While the self-selected strategies
employed by shy individuals to deal with their shyness
seem to have limited utility, successfully overcoming
shyness involves incorporating different strategies
corresponding the three different dimensions of shyness.