Links between neuroticism, emotional distress, and disengaging attention: Evidence from a single-target RSVP task

Keith Bredemeier, Howard Berenbaum, Steven B. Most, Daniel J Simons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Anxiety and depression are often associated with attention control deficits, but few studies have explored whether neuroticism can account for these links. In the present study, undergraduate students (n=146) completed self-report measures of neuroticism, worry, anxious arousal, and anhedonic depression and also completed a visual attention task in which they were asked to identify a red target letter embedded within a rapid sequence of items. Neuroticism was associated with detection of the target when it was preceded by a distracter with which it shared a feature in common (a green letter). Specifically, these distracters produced longer attentional blinks in individuals with elevated levels of neuroticism. In contrast, target detection was not significantly associated with worry, anxious arousal, or anhedonic depression. We discuss the implications of this link between neuroticism and attention for cognitive models of emotional distress and disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1510-1519
Number of pages10
JournalCognition and Emotion
Volume25
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Attention
  • Depression
  • Disengagement
  • Neuroticism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Links between neuroticism, emotional distress, and disengaging attention: Evidence from a single-target RSVP task'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this