Anxiety Sensitivity

Anxiety sensitivity (AS) is a cognitive trait indexing fear of anxiety or fear of anxiety-related sensations. Clinically, individuals with high AS are likely to interpret anxiety-related sensations (e.g., heart palpitations, sweating) as personally harmful or dangerous. This interpretation can create a negative cycle, whereby anxious sensations are feared and this fear elicits additional sensations, which can, in turn, elicit additional fear or anxiety. It is by this mechanism that AS has been shown to predict a number of clinical symptoms and disorders. Importantly, AS has been shown to be malleable with intervention and, therefore, represents an important target for therapeutic intervention. The purpose of this entry is to briefly introduce AS research as it relates to a host of psychological illnesses and symptoms. It ...

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