Trait Anxiety and the Alignment of Attentional Bias with Variation in the Controllability of Aversive Experiences Signaled by Threat

Matthew Herbert

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

Attentional bias to threat cues signalling aversive experiences can be adaptive or maladaptive depending on the controllability of the aversive experience. Optimal functioning requires attentional bias alignment: greater attentional bias to threats signalling more controllable aversive experiences, relative to threats signalling less controllable aversive experiences. This research programme tested the hypotheses that heightened trait anxiety is associated with impaired attentional bias alignment, and that executive functioning moderates this relationship. Across six experiments, support for both hypotheses was observed. These findings open up a novel line of research, with potentially applied implications for the amelioration of heightened trait anxiety.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Western Australia
Supervisors/Advisors
  • MacLeod, Colin, Supervisor
  • Notebaert, Lies, Supervisor
  • Fox, Elaine, Supervisor, External person
Thesis sponsors
Award date9 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusUnpublished - 2020

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