Examining The Relationship Between Experiential Avoidance And Attentional Bias Using Eye-Tracking

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kerry C. Kelso (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: https://library.appstate.edu/
Joshua J. Broman-Fulks

Abstract: Cognitive models of anxiety disorders propose that attentional biases serve as a key contributor to the development and maintenance of anxiety pathology, and a large body of research has accumulated demonstrating that anxious individuals exhibit consistent attentional biases for threat-relevant information. Recent research has also suggested that individuals with known cognitive vulnerabilities for anxiety disorders exhibit similar attentional biases for threat. Experiential avoidance (EA), or the unwillingness to experience uncomfortable cognitive, emotional, or sensory experiences, has been proposed to serve as a core vulnerability factor for emotional disorders in some recent models of psychopathology, and several lines of correlational and longitudinal research appears to support this assertion. Although preliminary research suggests that EA is characterized by biased processing, researchers have yet to examine the association between EA and attentional biases. Using eye tracking technology, the present study examined whether EA predicted attentional vigilance to, fixation on, and subsequent avoidance of negative-emotion and anxiety-related stimuli in 141 undergraduate students. Contrary to hypotheses, EA was not significantly related to any eye-tracking outcomes beyond a negative association with vigilance to neutral stimuli. Results are framed within the context of the anxiety attentional bias literature and directions for future research are discussed.

Additional Information

Kelso, K. (2017). "Examining The Relationship Between Experiential Avoidance And Attentional Bias Using Eye-Tracking." Unpublished Master’s Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2017

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