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Enhanced anger superiority effect in generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder

Ashwin, Chris and Holas, Pawel and Broadhurst, Shanna and Kokoszka, Andrzej and Georgiou, George A and Fox, Elaine (2012) 'Enhanced anger superiority effect in generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder.' Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 26 (2). pp. 329-336. ISSN 0887-6185

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Abstract

People are typically faster and more accurate to detect angry compared to happy faces, which is known as the anger superiority effect. Many cognitive models of anxiety suggest anxiety disorders involve attentional biases towards threat, although the nature of these biases remains unclear. The present study used a Face-in-the-Crowd task to investigate the anger superiority effect in a control group and patients diagnosed with either generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) or panic disorder (PD). The main finding was that both anxiety groups showed an enhanced anger superiority effect compared to controls, which is consistent with key theories of anxiety. Furthermore, both anxiety groups showed a differential pattern of enhanced bias towards threat depending on the crowd in the displays. The different attentional bias patterns between the GAD and PD groups may be related to the diverse symptoms in these disorders. These findings have implications for the diagnosis and treatment of anxiety.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Anxiety; Threat; Generalized anxiety disorder; Panic disorder; Attention bias; Visual search
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2012 13:22
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2012 13:22
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/2820

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