To date, little research has endeavoured to discriminate between cognitive and somatic dimensions of trait anxiety and, consequently, it remains uncertain whether these anxiety dimensions can be reliably distinguished at the trait level. The four studies presented here support the validity of the distinction between cognitive and somatic anxiety at both state and trait levels. The research involved the development and validation of a self-report questionnaire, the State-Trait Inventory for cognitive and somatic anxiety (STICSA). The nature of the anxiety dimensions assessed by this new measure was then investigated. The results indicate that the state scales of this new measure assess the degree of cognitive and somatic anxiety experienced at a particular point in time. The trait scales of the STICSA predict the situations in which different individuals will display elevations in cognitive and somatic state anxiety. Trait cognitive and somatic anxiety are indeed distinct constructs that can be reliably and validly assessed. Theoretical and applied implications of this finding are discussed.