Behavior as information: if i avoid, then there must be a danger
Cognitive models of anxiety disorders view safety-seeking behaviors (i.e., avoidance, washing, etc.) as plying a crucial role in the maintenance of irrational fear. An explanation of how these behaviors may contribute ti the maintenance of unrealistic beliefs is that patients use their safety behaviors as a source of information about the situation (behavior as information): the behavior is clear evidence of the danger. This study investigates whether, relative to non-clinical control participants, anxious participants actually infer danger on the basis of their safety behaviors, rather than on the basis of objective information.