Conclusion

Both trait and state worry relate to multiple biases in information-processing and cognition, including a general tendency towards various forms of negative self-referent thinking. Key attributes of worry include accessibility and content of threat schemas, intolerance of uncertainty, appraisals of personal incompetence in handling threats, catastrophizing, use of worry as an avoidance coping strategy, and distinctive metacognitions and thought control strategies. Worry relates to multiple biases that may have a functional unity through supporting an adaptation to perceived threat. Worry represents an orientation to the demands and challenges of life that prioritizes anticipation and preparation for threats. As functional analyses of worry have emphasized, anticipation may sometimes be adaptive. However, this adaptive strategy also carries various risks related to excessive attention to potential threats, interference with beneficial emotional processing, harmful metacognitions, and vulnerability to dysfunctional interactions with the outside world that promote cognitive distortions and prolong cycles of worry.

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