Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 333–344 | Cite as

Catastrophic worrying as a function of changes in problem-solving confidence

  • Graham C. L. Davey
  • Michael Jubb
  • Catherine Cameron


This study investigated whether experimentally manipulating problem-solving confidence had a causal influence on subsequent catastrophic worrying. While attempting to provide solutions to some real-life problem scenarios, subjects were given false feedback on their performance which suggested that their solutions were either very poor or very good. Subjects who experienced the procedure designed to decrease problem-solving confidence showed significantly lower self-ratings of problem-solving confidence, higher levels of self-reported anxiety, and subsequently a significantly increased tendency to catastrophize a personal worry than subjects who underwent the procedure designed to increase problem-solving confidence. The results show that changes in problem-solving confidence can have a causal effect on catastrophic worrying, and a multiple-regression analysis demonstrated that poor problem-solving confidence was a better predictor of catastrophizing than self-reports of anxiety taken immediately prior to the catastrophizing interview.

Key words

problem-solving confidence catastrophic worrying self-reported anxiety 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Graham C. L. Davey
    • 1
  • Michael Jubb
    • 1
  • Catherine Cameron
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychology Group, School of Cognitive & Computing ScienceThe University of SussexFalmer, BrightonUK

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