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   2011, Vol. 43 Issue (02) : 164-174     DOI:
Attentional Bias of Individuals with Generalized Anxiety
YANG Zhi-Hui;WANG Jian-Ping
(1 Department of psychology, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China)
(2 School of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China)
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Abstract  Continuous attention to negative stimuli is a necessary condition for individuals to maintain their worries. Previous research has also shown that intolerance of uncertainty is one important factor that contributes to symptoms of generalized anxiety. A research question then emerges: do individuals with generalized anxiety pay particular attention to negative stimuli under uncertain situations? Little research has been conducted to answer this question. Consequently, the present research aims at demonstrating the attentional bias of individuals with generalized anxiety.
Using the dot-probe task paradigm, two experiments were conducted to examine the attentional bias of individuals with generalized anxiety under ordinary versus uncertain situations. Using the Chinese version of Penn State Worry Questionnaire, we tested 1135 college students among which 60 students with generalized anxiety and 60 control students were selected. The 120 students participated in a test under ordinary situations in Experiment 1 and in another test under uncertain situations in Experiment 2.
Results showed significant differences between students with generalized anxiety and control students in their attentional bias under uncertain, rather than ordinary situations. Under uncertain situations, students with generalized anxiety paid more attention to negative stimuli than their counterparts without generalized anxiety did. Additionally, they also felt more stressful and anxious under uncertain situations than their counterparts did.
Keywords generalized anxiety      attentional bias      uncertain situations     
Corresponding Authors: YANG Zhi-Hui   
Issue Date: 28 February 2011
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YANG Zhi-Hui
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YANG Zhi-Hui,WANG Jian-Ping. Attentional Bias of Individuals with Generalized Anxiety[J]. , 2011, 43(02): 164-174.
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