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Routine cognitive errors: A trait-like predictor of individual differences in anxiety and distress

Fetterman, Adam K and Robinson, Michael D (2011) 'Routine cognitive errors: A trait-like predictor of individual differences in anxiety and distress.' Cognition & Emotion, 25 (2). pp. 244-264. ISSN 0269-9931

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Five studies (N=361) sought to model a class of errors—namely, those in routine tasks—that several literatures have suggested may predispose individuals to higher levels of emotional distress. Individual differences in error frequency were assessed in choice reaction-time tasks of a routine cognitive type. In Study 1, it was found that tendencies toward error in such tasks exhibit trait-like stability over time. In Study 3, it was found that tendencies toward error exhibit trait-like consistency across different tasks. Higher error frequency, in turn, predicted higher levels of negative affect, general distress symptoms, displayed levels of negative emotion during an interview, and momentary experiences of negative emotion in daily life (Studies 2–5). In all cases, such predictive relations remained significant with individual differences in neuroticism controlled. The results thus converge on the idea that error frequency in simple cognitive tasks is a significant and consequential predictor of emotional distress in everyday life. The results are novel, but discussed within the context of the wider literatures that informed them.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Individual differences, Cognition, Performance, Error, Negative emotion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2015 10:43
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2015 10:43

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