Behavioral Measurement of Intolerance of Uncertainty in Anxiety Disorders Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Jacoby, Ryan Jane
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Intolerance of Uncertainty (IU) is an important cognitive bias associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Yet to date, IU is only measured using self-report instruments, and behavioral measures of in vivo uncertainty would help our understanding of this construct. Accordingly, the current study examined the validity of a probabilistic inference task, the Beads Task, as a behavioral measure of IU in a sample of anxiety disorders patients and non-anxious controls. While the Beads Task successfully induced task-related uncertainty as the decision became more difficult, contrary to hypotheses, self-reported IU did not predict performance on this task using observable performance related measures (i.e., draws to decision, time to decision). Self-report IU, however, did predict one's subjective experience of in vivo distress after deciding. Decision-related distress was better accounted for by general symptom measures than disorder-specific symptoms. Avenues for future research based on these findings are discussed.
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  • In Copyright
  • Abramowitz, Jonathan
  • Master of Arts
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2013

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