Welcome to Anxiety Studies

Humans performing various tasks including skiing, washing dishes, swimming, commuting.

Interested in Participating?

We thank you for your interest in participating in our participant pool recruitment study!

Please visit our current studies page to determine if you meet our criteria for eligibility. If you determine you are eligible and are interested in participating, please visit our survey page to find out more information on the next steps in your participation. 

Current Studies

We are currentlyseeking volunteers aged 18+ with symptoms of anxiety to become valued members of our Anxiety Studies Division Participant Pool. 

Additionally, we are now seeking participants for a handwashing study. 

Please view our current studies page for more information.

Anxiety Studies is Now Operating Virtually!

We now conduct all of our diagnostic interviews with participants virtually. We will attempt to accommodate in-person interviews by request.

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. Anxiety Studies 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 team 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

The Waterloo Region Record recently interviewed Dr. Christine Purdon about OCD, compulsions, and her lab's research. Click here to read the full article.

In a new podcast on "Thoughts on Record: Podcast of the Ottawa Institute of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy", Dr. Purdon has an in-depth discussion with the show's host about OCD. Click here to listen.

Master's student Aliya McNeil and Dr. Christine Purdon provide important findings regarding the relationship between anxiety and COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy: Anxiety disorders had no effect on vaccine hesitancy

Dr. Christine Purdon provides her insights in a new CBC article: Almost anyone can become a life coach. A hidden camera investigation reveals why that's a problem

In a new article from UW Imprint, Dr. Purdon and other experts discuss how nature can help us improve our health.

Dr. Christine Purdon talks compulsions and OCD in a new profile from Psychology Tools.

Mark Gorman Legacy Fund

Mark Gorman (May 6, 1952 - September 8, 2020) was a Canadian poet, arts reviewer, script writer and broadcaster who fought a lifelong battle with anxiety and depression.

We are grateful to have received a substantial legacy gift from Mr. Gorman in support of our ongoing research on the nature and treatment of anxiety and related disorders.

Mr. Gorman’s legacy fund will strengthen our efforts to understand the factors that cause and maintain anxiety disorders, to develop more effective evidence-based psychological interventions to help ease people’s suffering, and to train graduate students in Clinical Psychology to become Canada’s next generation of scientist-practitioners.

Dr. Christine Purdon recently presented at the 2021 Virtual OCD-UK conference. Watch her presentation here: "Why Are Compulsions So Compelling?"

Check out this new interview from Faculti, where Dr. Christine Purdon discusses how there is a lot more to compulsions than meets the eye.

Dr. Christine Purdon recently contributed to an article on choosingtherapy.com: "Just Right OCD: Obsessions, Compulsions, & Treatments"

Check out this article from Interac, where Dr. Christine Purdon was interviewed about how anxiety can increase our susceptibility to fraud.

Dr. Christine Purdon was recently featured on the Finding Genius podcast, where she shared her insight into the effects of anxiety and depression on the individual.

Click the link to hear Dr. Christine Purdon share what's new in OCD research on the podcast "The OCD Chronicles" 

Click here for past anxiety in the news items.

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Centre for mental health research and treatment


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

Interested in Working With Us?

There are currently no available positions with the Anxiety Studies Division. If you are interested in volunteering as a research assistant with the Anxiety Studies Division, please send your CV/resume, unofficial transcript, and cover letter to Dr. David Moscovitch (dmosco@uwaterloo.ca) or Dr. Christine Purdon (christine.purdon@uwaterloo.ca) to express your interest and inquire about potential future opportunities.