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Memory-based attentional biases: Anxiety is linked to threat avoidance.

Publiceringsår: 2004
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 1027-1054
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Cognition & Emotion
Volym: 18
Nummer: 8
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: Taylor & Francis


The purpose of the present research was to examine if anxiety is linked to a memory-based attentional bias, in which attention to threat is thought to depend on implicit learning. Memory-based attentional biases were defined and also demonstrated in two experiments. A total of 168 university students were shown a pair of faces that varied in their emotional content (angry, neutral, and happy), with each type of emotion being consistently preceded by a particular neutral cue face, appearing in the same position. Eye movements were measured during these cue faces and during the emotional faces. The results of two experiments indicated that anxiety was connected with a tendency to avert one’s gaze from the positions of angry faces to the positions of happy faces, before these were shown on the screen. This, in turn, caused a reduced perception of angry relative to happy faces. In Experiment 2, participants were also not aware of having a memory-based attentional bias.


  • Psychology


  • ISSN: 0269-9931

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