Differential encoding of affective and nonaffective content information in trait anxiety

C. L S Pury, S. Mineka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

The relative encoding of affective and nonaffective content information in high and low trait anxious individuals was investigated. Experiment 1 (N = 35) found that, compared to Low Anxiety participants, High Anxiety participants showed relatively greater speeding of affective semantic decisions compared to nonaffective content semantic decisions. Using a similarity rating paradigm, Experiments 2 (N = 51) and 3 (N = 100) found higher levels of trait anxiety were associated with a decreased use of content information when nonaffective information was less salient than affective information. Experiment 4 (N = 100) found higher levels of trait anxiety were associated with a complementary increased use of affective information when affective information was less salient than nonaffective information. Thus, it appears that trait anxiety may be associated with a bias to encode less salient information to a greater extent when it is relevant to affect, and to a lesser extent when it is not.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)659-693
Number of pages35
JournalCognition and Emotion
Volume15
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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