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Decision Making

Highly anxious people have more trouble deciding how best to handle situations involving uncertainty, finding such situations distressing and immobilizing. But why is this the case? New research from our lab published online in Nature Neuroscience today suggests that people prone to high anxiety have a tougher time reading the environmental cues that could help them avoid bad outcomes.

A few quotes from Sonia can be found below, for more details see the links to the paper or the press release.

“An important skill in everyday decision-making is the ability to judge whether an unexpected bad outcome is a chance event or something likely to reoccur if the action that led to the outcome is repeated. Our results show that anxiety may be linked to difficulty in using information about whether the situations we face daily, including relationship dynamics, are stable or not, and deciding how to react ... It’s a bit like being ‘Alice in Wonderland’ trying to work out if the same rules apply or if everything is different and if so, what choices you should make.”