chapter  12
18 Pages

Fear, Anxiety, and Panic: Context, Cognition, and Visceral Arousal: Peter J. Lang

Psychological analyses of panic states and panic disorders generally emphasize the role of physiological symptoms as precursors of the subjective state of anxiety, and as the explanation for reports of fear, loss of control, or impending doom. Beck, Emery, and Greenberg (1985, p. 136) see the "attribution of causality in panic attacks" as critical to their development. In the view of emotion pioneered by Schachter and Singer (1962), and later developed by Lazarus (1975) and Mandler (1975, 1984), as well as Beck, emotional states begin with an appraisal of one's own physiological state in the context of current environmental stimulation. That is to say, human beings are presumed by Schachter to have "evaluative needs," vis-a-vis their bodily sensations. These sensations are considered to be unidimensional (i.e., different levels of arousal) and by themselves, to serve no direct, affect-cueing function.