Welcome to Anxiety Studies

Why study anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal response that is necessary to our survival. Anxiety orients us to danger and prepares our bodies to either challenge or escape it. Anxiety can also motivate us to take action, such as when we realize we have an important deadline, and it can give us a bit of a thrill, such as when we ride a roller coaster or play a fast-paced competitive game. Our world would be more dangerous if we were unable to become anxious.

But for some people, anxiety is the norm, not the exception, and their fears make it hard for them to meet family, work, and social obligations. The Anxiety Studies Division seeks to understand anxiety better so we can better help people who suffer from it.

Who are we?

We are full-time faculty members in the University of Waterloo’s Department of Psychology who have a shared interest in understanding the development and persistence of anxiety problems. Currently, the Anxiety Studies Division includes Dr. Christine Purdon and Dr. David Moscovitch, the graduate students they supervise, and the research assistants who work for them. To learn more about us, click here

Anxiety in the news

Dr. Christine Purdon shares some strategies to help with anxiety in an interview with Grand Magazine.

Thinking about goals? A new study finds that cleaning your hands beforehand may change how you think about them. 

Mengran Xu's research on attention and anxiety reveals that a mere 10 minutes of mindful mediation improves focus and performance on tasks for anxious people. Click here to read the Times Health news article. 

UWaterloo Faculty of Arts highlights Nick's story. Read about his work in our lab and future aspirations.

Watch ASD graduate students, Mengran Xu and Nick Zabara, speak about their research findings at this year's Faculty of Arts' Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition. 

Click here for past anxiety in the news items.

Anxiety Studies logoCentre for mental health research and treatment

Current studies

We are currently seeking volunteers with symptoms of anxiety to become valued members of our Anxiety Studies Division Participant Pool.

Please view our current studies page for more information.


To participate in our current on-line survey in order to become eligible for our Participant Pool, please visit the survey page.


Please read our most recent newsletter which provides information on our current studies and recently published studies.