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The Attentional Bias of Threatening Information among University Students with Trait Anxiety

Author: WangMingYu
Tutor: SuiXue
School: Liaoning Normal University
Course: Basic Psychology
Keywords: Trait anxiety Negative information Attentional bias Time course
CLC: B848
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2012
Downloads: 106
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A lot of researches have proved the subjects with trait anxiety have attentional bias on threatening information.The previous methods of research about attentional bias on trait anxiety were mainly used behavioral method, some of the studies found that attentional bias has the characteristics of time course. Behavior method is hard to discusses the question in depth, in order to take further research on the characteristics of time course about trait anxiety, we use eye movement technology and behavior research to solve these questions, and eye tracker is an advanced instruments to investigate the time course. The participants were the university students with trait anxiety, using behavioral method and eye movement method to explore the question of the attentional bias of threatening information among university students with trait anxiety.The participants were filtered by the trait anxiety part of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) which prepared by Spielberger et al. The filtered participants were the undergraduate students of Liaoning Normal University, according to the test score, the final result were22as high trait anxiety group and22as low trait anxiety group.The study included three experiments:experiment1and experiment2were behavioral experiments, experiment3were eye movement experiment.The experimental results demonstrate that:(1) In behavioral experiments, main effect of detecting location significantly when visual perception threshold of stimulation (present time is15ms); visual perception threshold of presented stimuli (present time is500ms), detecting position and trait anxiety level interaction were significant.(2) Eye movement experiment:the first fixation latency and the first fixation duration in negative words between high trait anxiety and low trait anxiety are different, the former is obviously smaller than the latter. The main effect of the six period of fixation time in3seconds is significant. The main effect of time period is significant in the total fixation duration time difference, the time period and trait anxiety level of interaction have significant interaction.Research conclusions:in the behavioral experiments, the high trait anxiety have attentional bias toward to negative information in visual perception subliminal stimulus presentation and visual perception of suprathreshold stimuli presenting mode; whereas low trait anxiety had no such characteristics,and attentional bias occur in the pre-attentive stage. In the eye movement experiment, the subjects with high trait anxiety search negative information is faster and more sensitive in the initial stage of attention. In the time course of3seconds, the high group and the low group showed different characteristics of attentional bias, experimental results do not support alert avoid hypothesis.

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