Eysenck (1992) predicts that among trait-anxious individuals high levels of state anxiety broaden the attentional beam in order to facilitate the detection of threat. An experiment was therefore conducted to investigate the interactive role of trait anxiety and mood manipulation on attentional broadening. Target material varying in threat-relatedness and concern-relevance was presented to participants' central ( parafoveal) and peripheral visual field. Whilst a mood manipulation was associated with a broadening of the attentional beam, it occurred irrespective of trait anxiety. However, differences in the processing of target material were determined by an interaction between trait anxiety and the mood manipulation. Specifically, when placed in an anxiety-provoking mood manipulation, those high in anxiety increased in their vigilance for concern-relevant threatening material. These results are discussed in light of Eysenck's hypervigilance theory of anxiety and attention.
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||European Journal of Personality|
|Publication status||Published - 1 May 1999|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology