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Research Team
Phil Davison, Kathryn Lester, Andrew Mathews and Jenny Yiend

Project Description

Previous research shows that emotionally ambiguous information is interpreted negatively by clinically anxious individuals and those with sub-clinical anxiety. It is likely that these biases contribute to causing emotional distress and vulnerability by increasing the quantity and availability of negative information for some individuals, while minimising it for others. Recent work has confirmed the direction of this causal association by showing that the experimental induction of negative interpretation biases leads to worsening trait anxiety levels and poorer response to stress. Conversely work with high trait anxious populations has confirmed the advantages of positive induction both for mood and stress response. This proposal develops the methodology of positive interpretation induction and takes the technique into a clinical setting to test its efficacy as an adjunct to standard treatments for anxiety.

Aims and Objectives

1) Methodology Development
a. To develop a maximally efficacious graded induction technique based on previous work.

2) Consequences of interpretative induction
a. To explore the effects of induction on trait anxiety and response to subsequent stressors, both experimental and naturalistic

To investigate the efficacy of interpretative training as an adjunct to existing treatments for anxiety disorders in a clinical trial.