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On the role of goal relevance in emotional attention: Disgust evokes early attention to cleanliness

Vogt, J., Lozo, L., Koster, E. H.W. and De Houwer, J. (2011) On the role of goal relevance in emotional attention: Disgust evokes early attention to cleanliness. Cognition and Emotion, 25 (3). pp. 466-477. ISSN 0269-9931

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/02699931.2010.532613


Prior evidence has shown that aversive emotional states are characterised by an attentional bias towards aversive events. The present study investigated whether aversive emotions also bias attention towards stimuli that represent means by which the emotion can be alleviated. We induced disgust by having participants touch fake disgusting objects. Participants in the control condition touched nondisgusting objects. The results of a subsequent dot-probe task revealed that attention was oriented to disgusting pictures irrespective of condition. However, participants in the disgust condition also oriented towards pictures representing cleanliness. These findings suggest that the deployment of attention in aversive emotional states is not purely stimulus driven but is also guided by the goal to alleviate this emotional state.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
ID Code:68430
Publisher:Taylor & Francis


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