Debiasing of pessimistic judgments associated with anxiety

Bret G. Bentz, Donald A. Williamson, Susan Faye Franks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


This study tested the Consider-An-Alternative debiasing procedure and its ability to reduce pessimistic judgmental predictions associated with anxiety. Study participants were randomly assigned to either a control group or a debiasing group and were asked to rate the likelihood of hypothetical events. Level of trait anxiety was assessed to assign participants to a "normal" and a highly anxious group. The results showed that the debiasing procedure was effective in the reduction of pessimistic judgmental predictions for participants with both high and "normal" levels of trait anxiety. Specifically, the generation of alternative positive information significantly reduced pessimistic predictions of future events. The results were discussed in terms of availability of information in memory and cognitive biases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-180
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2004


  • Anxiety
  • Cognitive bias
  • Debiasing
  • Judgmental bias


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