Induced processing biases have causal effects on anxiety

Andrew Mathews, Colin MacLeod
2002 Cognition & Emotion  
After briefly describing the nature of emotional processing biases associated with vulnerability to anxiety, and a model of how they may be produced, we review new data on the experimental induction of attentional and interpretative biases. We show that these biases can be readily induced in the laboratory, in the absence of mood changes. However, induced biases exert effects on the processing of new information and cause congruent changes in state anxiety when they influence how emotionally
more » ... how emotionally significant information is encoded. We can therefore conclude that biases have causal effects on vulnerability to anxiety via their influence on how significant events are processed. Finally, we discuss how our model might account for the acquisition of processing bias and for when they can influence anxiety.
doi:10.1080/02699930143000518 fatcat:fpkkfiievvct5n2mku45pfj23y