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Threat ≠ prevention, challenge ≠ promotion: The impact of threat, challenge and regulatory focus on attention to negative stimuli

Sassenberg, Kai and Sassenrath, Claudia and Fetterman, Adam K (2015) 'Threat ≠ prevention, challenge ≠ promotion: The impact of threat, challenge and regulatory focus on attention to negative stimuli.' Cognition & Emotion, 29 (1). pp. 188-195. ISSN 0269-9931

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Abstract

The purpose of the current experiment was to distinguish between the impact of strategic and affective forms of gain- and loss-related motivational states on the attention to negative stimuli. On the basis of the counter-regulation principle and regulatory focus theory, we predicted that individuals would attend more to negative than to neutral stimuli in a prevention focus and when experiencing challenge, but not in a promotion focus and under threat. In one experiment (N = 88) promotion, prevention, threat, or challenge states were activated through a memory task, and a subsequent dot probe task was administered. As predicted, those in the prevention focus and challenge conditions had an attentional bias towards negative words, but those in promotion and threat conditions did not. These findings provide support for the idea that strategic mindsets (e.g., regulatory focus) and hot emotional states (e.g., threat vs. challenge) differently affect the processing of affective stimuli.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Regulatory focus, Threat, Challenge, Attention, Self-regulation
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2015 14:33
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2015 14:33
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/14972

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