Introduction to a special issue on the contrast avoidance model

Michelle G. Newman, Amy Przeworski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current paper introduces the special issue on the Contrast Avoidance Model. The Contrast Avoidance Mmodel theorizes that chronic worriers are afraid of a sharp increase in negative emotion and/or sharp reduction in positive emotion (labeled negative emotional contrasts; NECs). They thus use perseverative thought as means to create and sustain negative emotion to prevent NECs if they were to experience negative events. Further, these individuals are uncomfortable with sustained positive emotion because it leaves them vulnerable to NECs. At the same time, worry increases the probability of positive emotional contrasts (PECs), or sharp increases in positive emotion or decreases in negative emotion when things turn out better than expected or positive events are experienced. Therefore, these individuals generate negative emotion via perseverative thought as a way to avoid NECs and increase the likelihood of PECs. The current special issue provides novel research on the model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102831
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
StatePublished - Mar 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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