Although usually thought of as a problem in affect, anxiety, just as any other personality trait, may be conceptualized as a coherent patterning over time and space of affect, behavior, cognition, and desires (the ABCDs of personality). We use the ABCD framework in an analysis of anxiety as a personality trait and an emotional and behavioral state. We review the anxiety literature with particular emphasis upon the relationship between anxiety and the behavioral consequences of having strong avoidance goals. We show how a consideration of the patterning of the ABCDs over time allows for an integration of theories of state anxiety with those of trait anxiety and consider how a multilevel information processing framework may better situate anxiety in personality research.
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