Anxiety, coping strategies, and the processing of threatening information: Investigations with cognitive-experimental paradigms

  • Krohne H
  • Hock M
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Abstract

This review treats individual differences in anxiety and coping from several perspectives. It starts with the argument that structural considerations (often linked to trait concepts) and processing considerations (often linked to situational demands and actual behavior) are not fundamentally in opposition, but that global and uncontextualized trait concepts (e.g., trait anxiety) require revision to incorporate cognitive-affective units such as appraisals, goals, or self-regulatory competencies (cf. Mischel, 2004). The article then presents a personality-oriented coping theory (the model of coping modes; MCM; Hock & Krohne, 2004; Krohne, 1993, 2003) which attempts to incorporate these units. The MCM distinguishes vigilant (uncertainty-oriented) and cognitively avoidant (arousal-oriented) coping processes and views them as dispositional preferences related to personality. Empirical evidence (based on cognitive-experimental designs in the fields of attentional orientation and the interpretation and retrieval of ambiguous and aversive information) is reviewed and supports central assumptions of the theory. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Cognitive avoidance
  • Coping
  • Repressive discontinuity
  • Vigilance

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