Trait anxiety influences on judgments of frequency and recall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Individuals high in trait anxiety believe that they are more at risk for a variety of threatening events. Subjective probability estimates of risk presumably rely on frequency-of-occurrence information in memory. This study sought to compare individuals differing in the trait of anxiety on frequency estimates and recall. Neutral and threatening words were presented varying numbers of times. An interaction between trait anxiety and word type indicated that individuals with high trait anxiety estimated greater frequencies for threatening words than did individuals with low trait anxiety. There were no differences between the groups in subsequent recall. Higher false recognitions of threatening words by high trait anxious participants suggested the use of a different decision strategy or greater activation and covert rehearsal of threat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-404
Number of pages10
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxiety
  • Memory
  • Personality
  • Probability judgment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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