Cognitive and personality characteristics of worriers

Thomas Pruzinsky, Thomas D. Borkovec

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Worriers and nonworriers from a college population were compared on the Imaginal Processing Inventory, the Self-Consciousness scale, and the Sandler-Hazari Obsessionality Inventory. Subjects from both groups also engaged in either brief relaxing or stressful imagery. Before the imagery task, measures of cognitive activity were obtained from periods of relaxed wakefulness, focused attention and anagram performance. After the imagery task, focused attention and anagrams measures were repeated. Worriers reported a more negative daydreaming style, greater difficulty with attentional control, and greater obsessional symptoms, public self-consciousness and social anxiety. On thought sampling measures obtained during relaxed wakefulness periods and rated by objective judges, and on self-report measures obtained during the focused attention task, worriers evidenced significantly more negatively affect-laden cognitive intrusions. No differences were found on anagram performance, and imagery condition did not influence any measure, suggesting that instructed fear images are insufficient to initiate worrisome episodes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-512
Number of pages6
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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