Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: doi:10.22028/D291-30023
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Title: Attentional bias to threat in the general population is contingent on target competition, not on attentional control settings
Author(s): Wirth, Benedikt Emanuel
Wentura, Dirk
Language: English
Title: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, The
Volume: 71
Issue: 4
Startpage: 975
Endpage: 988
Publisher/Platform: Taylor & Francis
Year of Publication: 2018
Publikation type: Journal Article
Abstract: Dot-probe studies usually find an attentional bias towards threatening stimuli only in anxious participants. Here, we investigated under what conditions such a bias occurs in unselected samples. According to contingent-capture theory, an irrelevant cue only captures attention if it matches an attentional control setting. Therefore, we first tested the hypothesis that an attentional control setting tuned to threat must be activated in (non-anxious) individuals. In Experiment 1, we used a dot-probe task with a manipulation of attentional control settings ('threat' - set vs. control set). Surprisingly, we found an (anxiety-independent) attentional bias to angry faces that was not moderated by attentional control settings. Since we presented two stimuli (i.e., a target and a distractor) on the target screen in Experiment 1 (a necessity to realise the test of contingent capture), but most dot-probe studies only employ a single target, we conducted Experiment 2 to test the hypothesis that attentional bias in the general population is contingent on target competition. Participants performed a dot-probe task, involving presentation of a stand-alone target or a target competing with a distractor. We found an (anxiety-independent) attentional bias towards angry faces in the latter but not the former condition. This suggests that attentional bias towards angry faces in unselected samples is not contingent on attentional control settings but on target competition.
DOI of the first publication: 10.1080/17470218.2017.1307864
URL of the first publication:
Link to this record: hdl:20.500.11880/28400
ISSN: 1747-0226
Date of registration: 2-Dec-2019
Faculty: HW - Fakultät für Empirische Humanwissenschaften und Wirtschaftswissenschaft
Department: HW - Psychologie
Professorship: HW - Prof. Dr. Dirk Wentura
Collections:SciDok - Der Wissenschaftsserver der Universität des Saarlandes

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