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Covert and overt orienting of attention to emotional faces in anxiety

Covert and overt orienting of attention to emotional faces in anxiety
Covert and overt orienting of attention to emotional faces in anxiety
Attentional biases for emotional faces were investigated in high, medium, and low anxiety groups (N = 54) using a probe detection task. Four types of facial expression (threat, sad, happy, neutral) were used to examine the specificity of the bias. Attentional bias measures were derived from manual reaction times (RTs) to probes and the direction of initial eye movement (EM) to the faces. The RT data indicated enhanced vigilance for threat rather than neutral faces in high and medium, but not low, state anxiety. The bias for negative faces appeared to be a combined function of stimulus threat value and the individual's anxiety level. The RT bias did not seem to depend on overt orienting, as many participants made few EMs. However, those who made frequent EMs to the faces showed concordance between the RT and EM bias measures, and so the RT measure of attentional bias for negative versus positive faces at 500 ms appears to provide a valid index of the direction of initial orienting to emotional stimuli. There was no evidence of an anxiety - related bias for happy faces (predicted by the emotionality hypothesis), nor a dysphoria - related bias for sad faces. However, increased dysphoria scores were associated with reduced attentiveness to happy faces.
0269-9931
789-808
Bradley, Brendan P.
bdacaa6c-528b-4086-9448-27ebfe463514
Mogg, Karin
5f1474af-85f5-4fd3-8eb6-0371be848e30
Millar, Neil H.
e8f373ed-e644-4a80-88e6-4a67d5e021ff
Bradley, Brendan P.
bdacaa6c-528b-4086-9448-27ebfe463514
Mogg, Karin
5f1474af-85f5-4fd3-8eb6-0371be848e30
Millar, Neil H.
e8f373ed-e644-4a80-88e6-4a67d5e021ff

Bradley, Brendan P., Mogg, Karin and Millar, Neil H. (2000) Covert and overt orienting of attention to emotional faces in anxiety. Cognition and Emotion, 14 (6), 789-808.

Record type: Article

Abstract

Attentional biases for emotional faces were investigated in high, medium, and low anxiety groups (N = 54) using a probe detection task. Four types of facial expression (threat, sad, happy, neutral) were used to examine the specificity of the bias. Attentional bias measures were derived from manual reaction times (RTs) to probes and the direction of initial eye movement (EM) to the faces. The RT data indicated enhanced vigilance for threat rather than neutral faces in high and medium, but not low, state anxiety. The bias for negative faces appeared to be a combined function of stimulus threat value and the individual's anxiety level. The RT bias did not seem to depend on overt orienting, as many participants made few EMs. However, those who made frequent EMs to the faces showed concordance between the RT and EM bias measures, and so the RT measure of attentional bias for negative versus positive faces at 500 ms appears to provide a valid index of the direction of initial orienting to emotional stimuli. There was no evidence of an anxiety - related bias for happy faces (predicted by the emotionality hypothesis), nor a dysphoria - related bias for sad faces. However, increased dysphoria scores were associated with reduced attentiveness to happy faces.

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More information

Published date: 1 November 2000

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 18201
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/18201
ISSN: 0269-9931
PURE UUID: d410871d-c6e8-462e-979c-93840ff79402
ORCID for Brendan P. Bradley: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2801-4271

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 20 Jan 2006
Last modified: 18 May 2019 00:36

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