ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2015, Vol. 47 ›› Issue (10): 1213-1222.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.01213

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Attentional Bias Toward Face-related Words Among Females with Facial Negative Physical Self: Evidence from An Eye-movement Study

KOU Hui1; SU Yanhua1; LUO Xiaochun1; CHEN Hong1,2   

  1. (1 School of Psychology, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China)
    (2 Key Laboratory of Cognition and Personality (Ministry of Education), Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China)
  • Received:2015-01-22 Published:2015-10-25 Online:2015-10-25
  • Contact: CHEN Hong, E-mail:


 Previous studies found cognitive bias toward body-related information among individuals with fat negative physical self. However, little is known about the cognitive bias toward face-related information among individuals with facial negative physical self (FNPS).

The current study aimed to investigate the attentional bias towards face-related words among females with FNPS. A modified dot probe paradigm was adopted. In the experiment, we used positive and negative face-related words as stimuli. A pair of words was presented in each trial. There were totally four types of word pairing conditions: positive face-related word-neutral word condition (PosNeu), negative face-related word-neutral word condition (NegNeu), positive face-related word-negative face-related word condition (PosNeg), and neutral word -neutral word condition (NeuNeu). We recorded the eye-movement while subjects were viewing the words.
In NegNeu condition, we found that, compared to controls, females with FNPS were more frequently and faster to direct their initial gazes to negative face-related words. Furthermore, they also showed a longer fixation on the negative word. However, the total gaze durations on both types of words were not significantly different. These results implied an attention vigilance-maintenance pattern for negative face-related words. In contrary, females with FNPS showed a slower rate to direct their gazes to positive words in PosNeu condition. Consistently, in PosNeg condition, females with FNPS showed the same attentional bias toward negative face-related words compared to positive face-related words. Furthermore, behavioral results showed that females with FNPS had difficulty in attention disengagement from negative face-related words, which were evident in both NegNeu and PosNeg condition.

In conclusion, our results demonstrated that females with FNPS had an attention vigilance-maintenance pattern toward negative face-related words.

Key words: females with facial negative physical self, attentional bias, face-related words, eye-movement