BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

New perspectives in attentional control theory

Eysenck, M.W. and Derakhshan, Nazanin (2011) New perspectives in attentional control theory. Personality and Individual Differences 50 (7), pp. 955-960. ISSN 0191-8869.

Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL:


There have been several theoretical attempts to explain the effects of anxiety on cognitive performance. According to attentional control theory, anxiety impairs the efficiency of two executive functions (the inhibition and shifting functions). Another major theoretical assumption is that anxiety impairs performance effectiveness (the quality of performance) to a lesser extent than processing efficiency (the relationship between performance effectiveness and effort or use of processing resources). However, there may be conditions (e.g., prior presentation of threat-related stimuli) in which that assumption is not applicable. The extensive recent research (including several cognitive neuroscience studies) of direct relevance to the theory is discussed, and suggestions are made for maximizing the value of future cognitive neuroscience research. Finally, attentional control theory is developed to explicate the relationship between anxiety and motivation. Implications for theoretical predictions and alternative theoretical accounts are discussed. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Anxiety, attentional control, distractibility, processing efficiency, performance effectiveness
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2011 10:10
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:20

Archive Staff Only (login required)

Edit/View Item Edit/View Item