Biases in attention and interpretation in adolescents with varying levels of anxiety and depression

Cognition and Emotion 32 (7):1478-1486 (2017)
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ABSTRACTThis is the first study to investigate multiple cognitive biases in adolescence simultaneously, to examine whether anxiety and depression are associated with biases in attention and interpretation, and whether these biases are able to predict unique variance in self-reported levels of anxiety and depression. A total of 681 adolescents performed a Dot Probe Task, an Emotional Visual Search Task, and an Interpretation Recognition Task. Attention and interpretation biases were significantly correlated with anxiety. Mixed results were reported with regard to depression: evidence was found for an interpretation bias, and for an attention bias as measured with the EVST but not with the DPT. Furthermore, interpretation and attention biases predicted unique variance in anxiety and depression scores. These results indicate that attention and interpretation biases are unique processes in anxiety and depression. They also suggest that anxiety and depression are partly based on similar underlying...



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