Terror mismanagement: evidence that mortality salience exacerbates attentional bias in social anxiety

Finch, Emma C, Iverach, Lisa, Menzies, Ross G and Jones, Mark (2015) Terror mismanagement: evidence that mortality salience exacerbates attentional bias in social anxiety. Cognition and Emotion, 30 7: 1370-1379. doi:10.1080/02699931.2015.1065794


Author Finch, Emma C
Iverach, Lisa
Menzies, Ross G
Jones, Mark
Title Terror mismanagement: evidence that mortality salience exacerbates attentional bias in social anxiety
Journal name Cognition and Emotion   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1464-0600
0269-9931
Publication date 2015-07-24
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/02699931.2015.1065794
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 30
Issue 7
Start page 1370
End page 1379
Total pages 10
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Language eng
Abstract Death anxiety is a basic fear underlying a range of psychological conditions, and has been found to increase avoidance in social anxiety. Given that attentional bias is a core feature of social anxiety, the aim of the present study was to examine the impact of mortality salience (MS) on attentional bias in social anxiety. Participants were 36 socially anxious and 37 non-socially anxious individuals, randomly allocated to a MS or control condition. An eye-tracking procedure assessed initial bias towards, and late-stage avoidance of, socially threatening facial expressions. As predicted, socially anxious participants in the MS condition demonstrated significantly more initial bias to social threat than non-socially anxious participants in the MS condition and socially anxious participants in the control condition. However, this effect was not found for late-stage avoidance of social threat. These findings suggest that reminders of death may heighten initial vigilance towards social threat.
Keyword Mortality salience
Death anxiety
Terror management theory
Social anxiety
Attentional bias
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
School of Medicine Publications
 
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