alexa Induced Worrying Impairs Updating Efficiency
ISSN: 2161-0487

Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy
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Research Article

Induced Worrying Impairs Updating Efficiency

Mieke Beckwé* and Natacha Deroost

Department of Experimental and Applied Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium

*Corresponding Author:
Mieke Beckwé
Department of Experimental and Applied Psychology
Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32- (0)2-629 14 67
Fax: +32-(0)2-629 24 89
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: February 12,2016; Accepted Date: June 14,2016; Published Date: June 21,2016

Citation: Beckwé M, Deroost N (2016) Induced Worrying Impairs Updating Efficiency. J Psychol Psychother 6:266. doi:10.4172/2161-0487.1000266

Copyright: © 2016 Beckwé M, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



In the attentional control theory of anxiety, Eysenck, Derakshan, Santos, and Calvo (2007) propose that worrying depletes cognitive resources, thereby reducing the efficiency of cognitive task performance in anxious participants. However, most of the research supporting this hypothesis does not directly address the contribution of worrying to the association between anxiety and cognitive task performance. In the present study we examined the direct effect of induced worrying on cognitive performance in an undergraduate sample, with participants with a high tendency to worry (N=36) and participants with a low tendency to worry (N=30). We used an n-back task to measure their capacity to actively update the content of working memory. Results indicate that a worry-induction decreases general updating efficiency. This decrease in updating efficiency was most pronounced immediately after the worry-induction and disappeared towards the end of the experiment. There was no difference in updating efficiency between participants with a high and low tendency to worry. We can conclude that a worry-induction impairs the updating capacity of working memory, unrelated to a person’s inherent tendency to worry.


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