Attentional bias towards angry faces is moderated by the activation of a social processing mode in the general population

Cognition and Emotion 33 (7):1317-1329 (2019)
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Abstract

ABSTRACTDot-probe studies usually find an attentional bias towards threatening stimuli only in anxious participants, but not in non-anxious participants. In the present study, we conducted two experiments to investigate whether attentional bias towards angry faces in unselected samples is moderated by the extent to which the current task requires social processing. In Experiment 1, participants performed a dot-probe task involving classification of either socially meaningful targets or meaningless targets. Targets were preceded by two photographic face cues, one angry and one neutral. Angry face cues only produced significant cueing scores with socially meaningful targets, not with meaningless targets. In Experiment 2, participants classified only meaningful targets, which were either socially meaningful or not. Again, mean cue...

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