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    Response inhibition and attentional control in anxiety

    Unguetti-Pacheco, A.P. and Acosta, A. and Lupianez, J. and Naiker, R. and Derakhshan, Nazanin (2012) Response inhibition and attentional control in anxiety. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 65 (4), pp. 646-660. ISSN 1747-0218.

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    Traditionally, anxiety has been associated with a selective attentional bias for threat and a decreased capacity in attentional control. In two different experiments, we investigated whether individuals with different levels of self-reported state anxiety (Experiment 1) and induced anxiety (Experiment 2) had impaired response inhibition processes (attentional control deficit) as characterized by a different response style in the presence of negative stimuli under low and high perceptual load conditions. A go/no-go paradigm with emotional distractors (angry, happy, and neutral faces) was used to provide measures of perceptual sensitivity, inhibition, and response style. Our findings showed that perceptual sensitivity, as assessed by the d′ parameter of signal detection theory, was reduced in all participants for angry faces under low perceptual load, where enough perceptual resources were available to be attracted by distractors. Importantly, despite similar perceptual sensitivity, the beta parameter indicated that high state anxiety individuals in both experiments were less flexible at adjusting to task demands in the presence of angry face distractors by adopting a stricter criterion. Implications of findings are discussed within current models of attentional control in anxiety.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): self-reported anxiety, anxiety induction, response inhibition, go/no-go paradigm, perceptual load, emotional distractors, response style
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2015 16:38
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:16


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