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An Evaluation of a Computerized Measure of Interpretation Bias in Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Title:

An Evaluation of a Computerized Measure of Interpretation Bias in Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Ogniewicz, Avital S. (2012) An Evaluation of a Computerized Measure of Interpretation Bias in Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Theories suggest that individuals with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) make threatening appraisals of ambiguous information related to health, finances, and relationships, among other domains. As a result, we have recently developed two parallel word-sentence association paradigm (WSAP) computer tasks designed to assess threat and benign interpretation biases relating to GAD worry. It was hypothesized that the GAD analogue group (i.e., individuals meeting diagnostic criteria by questionnaire) would endorse more threatening interpretations and fewer benign interpretations of ambiguous sentences relative to the non-GAD group (i.e., individuals not meeting diagnostic criteria by questionnaire) in WSAP Sets A and B. In the current study, 97 university students and community volunteers were randomly assigned to Set A (n = 49) or B (n = 48), and completed self-report measures of anxiety, worry, and related symptomatology. The results indicate that of those assigned to Set A, no differences were found between the GAD analogue (n = 19) and non-GAD group (n = 30) on tendency to endorse threat interpretations. Of those assigned to Set B, the GAD analogue group (n = 17) was significantly more likely to endorse an overall threat interpretation bias and specifically, to reject benign disambiguations than the non-GAD group (n = 31). No differences were found between the groups in either Set in the tendency to accept threatening disambiguations. More research is needed on the specific role of biases in the etiology and treatment of GAD, and why Set A did not distinguish between the groups. This study provides preliminary support for the use of word-sentence paradigms to assess, and possibly modify, threat interpretation biases in GAD.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Ogniewicz, Avital S.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Psychology
Date:27 April 2012
Thesis Supervisor(s):Dugas, Michel J.
ID Code:974633
Deposited By:AVITAL OGNIEWICZ
Deposited On:30 Oct 2012 11:17
Last Modified:30 Oct 2012 11:17
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