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Ashley Schmidlap is a very stressed senior in high school. She has quite a few assignments and tests due at the same time. She also has her playoff game and her part-time job. When her mom tells her to relax and that it will be okay, she snaps back, “Mom, you don’t understand. If I don’t do well now, I will not get into a good college, I will not be able to study finance. I’ll end up having to study something I hate and be at a job that I hate too.”

Which term applies to the fact that Ashley’s mind keeps returning to the worst case scenario?


Formal reasoning




Bottom-up processing


Informal reasoning


Convergent thinking

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