Negative selectivity effects and emotional selectivity effects in anxiety: Differential attentional correlates of state and trait variables

E.M. Rutherford, Colin Macleod, L.W. Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There is debate concerning whether anxiety-linked attentional bias represents selective processing of emotional stimuli in general (emotional selectivity), or of negative material specifically (negative selectivity). We hypothesised that emotional selectivity is mediated exclusively by state anxiety, while negative selectivity is interactively mediated by both state and trait anxiety. Negative, positive, and neutral words were presented in an emotional Stroop task to high and low trait anxious students on occasions of low and high state anxiety. With elevations in state anxiety: (1) all participants showed emotional selectivity (greater interference from emotional vs. control words); and (2) high trait anxious, relative to low trait anxious, participants showed negative selectivity (greater interference from negative vs. positive words), supporting our hypothesis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)711-720
JournalCognition & Emotion
Volume18
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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