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Main article: Anxiety

A well accepted theory of anxiety originally posited by Liebert and Morris in 1967 suggests that anxiety consists of two components; worry and emotionality. Emotionality refers to physiological symtpoms such as sweating, increased heart beat and raised blood pressure.

Worry refers to negative self-talk that often detracts the mind from focusing on the problem at hand. For example, when students become anxious during a test, they may repeatedly tell themselves they are going to fail, or they can't remember the material or that their teacher will get mad at them. This thinking interferes with focussing on the test as the speech areas of the brain that are needed to complete test questions are being used for worrying.

See also

Further reading


  • Davey & Wells (eds)(2006): Worry and its psychological disorders: Theory, assessment and treatment. Chichester, UK: Wiley.


  • Morrison, A.P. & Wells, A. (2007). Relationships between worry, psychotic experiences and emotional distress in patients with schizophrenia spectrum diagnoses and comparisons with anxious and non-patient groups. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 45, 1593-1600.
  • Wells, A. & Papageorgiou, C. (1995) Worry and the incubation of intrusive images following stress. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 33, 579-583.
  • Butler, G., Wells, A. & Dewick, H. (1995) Differential effects of worry and imagery after exposure to a stressful stimulus: A pilot study. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 23, 45-56.