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Behav Res Ther. 2017 Aug;95:50-57. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2017.05.007. Epub 2017 May 11.

Randomized control trial investigating the efficacy of a computer-based intolerance of uncertainty intervention.

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Florida State University, USA.
Ohio University, USA.
Florida State University, USA. Electronic address:


Intolerance of uncertainty (IU) is an important transdiagnostic variable within various anxiety and mood disorders. Theory suggests that individuals high in IU interpret ambiguous information in a more threatening manner. A parallel line of research has shown that interpretive biases can be modified through cognitive training and previous research aimed at modifying negative interpretations through Cognitive Bias Modification (CBM-I) has yielded promising results. Despite these findings, no research to date has examined the efficacy of an IU-focused CBM-I paradigm. The current study investigated the impact of a brief IU-focused CBM-I on reductions in IU. Participants selected for a high IU interpretation bias (IU-IB) were randomly assigned to an active (IU CBM-I) or control CBM-I condition. Results indicated that our active IU CBM-I was associated with significant changes in IU-IB from pre-to-post intervention as well as with significant reductions in IU at post-intervention and month-one follow-up. Findings also found that the IU CBM-I led to reductions in IU self-report via the hypothesized mechanism. This study is the first to provide evidence that a CBM-I focused on IU is effective in reducing IU-IB and IU across time and suggest that IU CBM-I paradigms may be a novel prevention/intervention treatment for anxiety.


Anxiety; Cognitive bias modification; Interpretation bias; Intolerance of uncertainty

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