ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
 Volume 1, Issue 1, 71-86, 2010
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Can the Future-Oriented Nature of Worry Be Experimentally Manipulated?
The Effects of Personally Relevant Worry and Video-Related Imagery Following Exposure to a Distressing Video

Larry D. Pruitt, Holly Hazlett-Stevens
University of Nevada, Reno

Volume 1, Issue 1, 2010, Pages 71-86

In an attempted experimental manipulation of the future-oriented property of worry, a total of 174 college students were randomly assigned to one of five experimental conditions. After all participants viewed a distressing video, they were instructed to worry about a personally relevant topic while constraining their worry to outcomes that could occur within the next 15 minutes, within the next week, or within the next year, or they worried about a personally relevant topic without such a time constraint or engaged in imagery of the video. Predicted group differences in state anxiety reduction were not found, although this effect approached statistical significance (p = .07). Contrary to our prediction, the imagery group reported more subsequent video-related cognitive intrusions than the worry groups and no differences between the worry groups were found. Results suggest that worry about everyday concerns may effectively distract some individuals from previously experienced emotionally distressing material.

Table of Contents
   Preliminary Analyses
   Experimental manipulation state effects
   Diary recordings of video-related intrusions

Correspondence to
Holly Hazlett-Stevens, Department of Psychology/298, University of Nevada, Reno, Reno, NV 89557.

worry, imagery, cognitive intrusions, generalized anxiety disorder

Received 4 May 2010; Revised 17 Sep 2010; Accepted 18 Sep 2010; In Press 31 Oct 2010

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