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Title:Impact of affective traits on response interference: modulations by trait negative affect, anxious arousal, and anxious apprehension
Author(s):Weldon, Anne L
Advisor(s):Heller, Wendy; Buetti, Simona
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:Research suggests that elevated state negative affect (NA) reduces attentional scope and increases interference by distracting information. However, it is unclear whether and how trait NA contributes to this effect. 153 undergraduates completed the MASQ Anhedonic Depression 8-item scale to measure NA and a modified Flanker task. They also completed measures of anxious apprehension (AP; Penn State Worry Questionnaire) and anxious arousal (AA; MASQ), known to influence attention processing. Participants identified one of two target letters (X or N) among five non-target letters arranged on a circle. Non-targets were homogeneous in low perceptual load (Os) and heterogeneous in high perceptual load (K,V,S,R,J). Additionally, a foil (X or N) was presented in the center or periphery (left or right) of the display. It was predicted 1) that flanker interference would increase with increasing trait NA, and 2) that attentional scope would decrease with higher NA. Results indicated that NA did not modulate attentional scope. However, affective traits interacted to predict flanker interference under high load central-foil conditions. Higher NA and AD were associated with increased interference, but higher AA mitigated this effect. Positive affect was also found to predict interference in high load central-foil conditions. These results highlight the role of diverse affective traits on various aspects of non-emotional attentional processing.
Issue Date:2016-07-20
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Anne Weldon
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-11-10
Date Deposited:2016-08

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