Anxiety, Impulsivity and Intolerance of Uncertainty

M. Fensken, L. B. Forzano (mentor), G. Becker, & C. Bakalik, Department of Psychology, College at Brockport, SUNY, 350 New Campus Dr., Brockport, NY 14420

Anxiety disorders represent the most frequently diagnosed mental health problem among American college students. Impulsivity has been linked with an anxiety as a potential risk factor. Impulsivity is defined as choosing smaller, sooner rewards, over larger, later rewards and is commonly measured with delay discounting tasks. It has been suggested that the delay discounting effect, i.e., the tendency to value less delayed rewards, in anxious individuals is driven by their intolerance of uncertainty. Intolerance of uncertainty (IU) is defined as how acceptable uncertain situations are. In the current study, it is hypothesized that those with higher levels of anxiety will exhibit more delay discounting and higher intolerance of uncertainty than those with lower levels of anxiety. Preliminary analyses of 29 participants currently reveals no significant relationships between anxiety, intolerance of uncertainty and impulsivity measures (i.e.. computerized delay discounting and impulsivity tasks). Data collection is ongoing and it is expected that as the sample size increases towards the proposed number of 60 participants, significant results will be found. This study will address the gap in the field that links anxiety with impulsivity. Addressing this gap can lead to an improvement in the treatment and prevention of anxiety.


Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Michael Fensken

Institution: State University of New York- Brockport

Type: Poster

Subject: Psychology

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 10
Date/Time: Wed 1:30pm-2:30pm
Session Number: 6578