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Experimental control of conflict in a predictive visual probe task: Highly reliable bias scores related to anxiety

Experimental control of conflict in a predictive visual probe task: Highly reliable bias scores related to anxiety

Gladwin, Thomas, Halls, Monika and Vink, Matthijs (2021) Experimental control of conflict in a predictive visual probe task: Highly reliable bias scores related to anxiety. Acta Psychologica, 218:103357. ISSN 0001-6918 (doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actpsy.2021.103357)

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Abstract

Concerns have been raised about the low reliability of measurements of spatial attentional bias via RT differences in dot-probe tasks. The anticipatory form of the bias, directed towards predicted future stimuli, appears to have relatively good reliability, reaching around 0.70. However, studies thus far have not attempted to experimentally control task-related influence on bias, which could further improve reliability. Evoking top-down versus bottom-up conflict may furthermore reveal associations with individual differences related to mental health. In the current study, a sample of 143 participants performed a predictive Visual Probe Task (predVPT) with angry and neutral face stimuli online. In this task, an automatic bias is induced via visually neutral cues that predict the location of an upcoming angry face. A task-relevant bias was induced via blockwise shifts in the likely location of target stimuli. The bias score resulting from these factors was calculated as RTs to target stimuli at locations of predicted but not actually presented angry versus neutral faces. Correlations were tested with anxiety, depression, self-esteem and aggression scales. An overall bias towards threat was found with a split-half reliability of 0.90, and 0.89 after outlier removal. Avoidance of threat in blocks with a task-relevant bias away from threat was correlated with anxiety, with correction for multiple testing. The same relationship was nominally significant for depression and low self-esteem. In conclusion, we showed high reliability of spatial attentional bias that was related to anxiety.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Deposited by author TG on June 24 2021, and modified by MP on July 2 and Sep 2 2021.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Anticipation, attention, predictive, reliability, anxiety
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Institute for Lifecourse Development
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Institute for Lifecourse Development > Centre for Mental Health
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2021 08:49
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/33179

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