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The effect of task-relevant and irrelevant anxiety-provoking stimuli on response inhibition

Wilson, Kyle M., de Joux, Neil R., Finkbeiner, Kristin M., Russell, Paul N. and Helton, William S. (2016) The effect of task-relevant and irrelevant anxiety-provoking stimuli on response inhibition. Consciousness and Cognition, 42. pp. 358-365. ISSN 1053-8100

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The impact of anxiety-provoking stimuli on the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART; Robertson, Manly, Andrade, Baddeley, & Yiend, 1997), and response inhibition more generally, is currently unclear. Participants completed four SARTs embedded with picture stimuli of two levels of emotion (negative or neutral) and two levels of task-relevance (predictive or non-predictive of imminent No-Go stimuli). Negative pictures had a small but detectable adverse effect on performance regardless of their task-relevance. Overall, response times and rates of commission errors were more dependent upon the predictive value (relevance) of the pictures than their attention-capturing nature (i.e., negative valence). The findings raise doubt over whether anxiety improves response inhibition, and also lend support to a response strategy perspective of SART performance, as opposed to a mindlessness or mind-wandering explanation.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Q Science > Q Science (General)
U Military Science > U Military Science (General)
Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences
School of Human and Health Sciences > Centre for Applied Psychological Research
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Kyle Wilson
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2016 14:00
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 17:07


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