Worry, problem elaboration and suppression of imagery: the role of concreteness

Stoeber, Joachim (1998) Worry, problem elaboration and suppression of imagery: the role of concreteness. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 36 (7-8). pp. 751-756. ISSN 0005-7967. (doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0005-7967(98)00027-8) (Full text available)

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Both lay concept and scientific theory claim that worry may be helpful for defining and analyzing problems. Recent studies, however, indicate that worrisome problem elaborations are less concrete than worry-free problem elaborations. This challenges the problem solving view of worry because abstract problem analyses are unlikely to lead to concrete problem solutions. Instead the findings support the avoidance theory of worry which claims that worry suppresses aversive imagery. Following research findings in the dual-coding framework [Paivio, A. (1971). Imagery and verbal processes. New York: Holt, Rhinehart and Winston; Paivio, A. (1986). Mental representations: a dual coding approach. New York: Oxford University Press.], the present article proposes that reduced concreteness may play a central role in the understanding of worry. First, reduced concreteness can explain how worry reduces imagery. Second, it offers an explanation why worrisome problem analyses are unlikely to arrive at solutions. Third, it provides a key for the understanding of worry maintenance.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: anxiety; anxiety neurosis; problem solving; avoidance; imagery; cognitive processes
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Joachim Stoeber
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2009 12:36 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2014 14:39 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/19830 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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