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Testing an online worry induction procedure

Faculty Advisor




worry, anxiety disorders

Abstract (summary)

In-person worry induction procedures effectively induce increases in state worry, negative affect, and anxiety. However, the efficacy of conducting a worry induction online has yet to be examined. This study investigated the effectiveness of an online worry induction, as well as the predictors of an individual’s emotional response to the induction. A sample of 268 undergraduates completed online self-report measures of worry, GAD symptoms, state positive affect (PA), state negative affect (NA), and state anxiety. Participants were then prompted to worry for 5 minutes, after which they completed the measures of PA, NA, and anxiety a second time. As expected, the participants experienced an increase in NA and anxiety, as well as a decrease in PA. GAD symptoms and trait worry severity were both found to predict changes in NA and anxiety, but neither predicted changes in PA. Further, the magnitude of the emotional changes was less pronounced than was observed in a previous in-person worry induction. Our findings suggest that an online worry induction can lead to reported increases in overall distress, and appear to reflect trait levels of worry severity and GAD symptoms. However, the intensity of the worry appears to be less pronounced than in-person induction procedures. Potential methods for improving an online worry induction will be discussed.

Publication Information



Presented on June 17-19, 2022 at the Canadian Psychological Association's 83rd Annual National Convention in Calgary, Alberta.

Item Type

Student Presentation




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