Self-Related Cognitions in Anxiety and Motivation

Self-Related Cognitions in Anxiety and Motivation

Self-Related Cognitions in Anxiety and Motivation

Self-Related Cognitions in Anxiety and Motivation

Excerpt

Research on anxiety and motivation has witnessed substantial progress in recent years in developing innovative perspectives and applying advanced psychometric tools. The most important contributions were made by cognitively oriented psychologists who have related the information processing view to anxiety and motivation. The organized knowledge about oneself and the storage, processing and retrieval of information concerned with one's attitude and behavior strongly influences the way people think, feel and act. Therefore, self-referent thoughts play a major role as a cognitive component in anxiety and motivation.

It is the idea of this book to integrate different lines of thinking in the field of anxiety and motivation by relating both topics to self-focussed attention, self-concept and self-evaluation in achievement contexts as well as in social contexts.

In test anxiety research, for example, the separation of two components has proven useful: worry and emotionality. Worry can be understood as a self-related cognition which seems to be primarily responsible for performance impairment, whereas the emotionality, i.e. the perception of autonomous arousal, is less relevant for academic behavior. This distinction of a cognitive and an emotional component has been transferred fruitfully from state anxiety to trait anxiety research, and recently has been applied to social anxiety. In research on social anxiety an additional construct has gained popularity, that is, self-awareness as a necessary condition for embarrassment, shyness, shame, and audience anxiety. A state of public self-awareness is claimed to be a prerequisite of social anxiety.

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