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Preferential Processing: a factor with implications: Personality traits as explanatory factors
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Preferential processing favouring threatening information has received increased attention because cognitive formulations have placed increased emphasis on its role as a key cognitive factor underlying vulnerability to and maintenance of anxiety disorders. The present dissertation comprises four empirical studies within the area of preferential processing. Two different outcome measures were used to index preferential processing of threat-related information: Skin conductance responses (SCRs) were used in Studies I, II, and III. The emotional Stroop task was used in Study IV. The main focus has been on preferential processing of threat-related information that occurs outside awareness, thus preferential preattentive processing. Study I investigated the role of traumatic combat experience with regard to preferential processing among UN soldiers following a presentation of threat-related pictures. Results indicated that soldiers with combat experience consistently reacted with lower SCRs compared to soldiers without combat experience. One issue addressed in the individual studies was the association between preferential preattentive processing and trait anxiety. Studies II, III, and IV showed that elevated levels of trait anxiety promote preferential preattentive processing of negatively valenced information, whereas elevated levels of social desirability generally prevent preferential preattentive processing of negatively valenced information. Study II highlighted the importance of including the social desirability factor when studying effects of trait anxiety on preferential processing. In addition, Studies III and IV explored the relationship between preferential processing and emotional vulnerability. The main findings support the notion of preferential preattentive processing of threat representing an underlying predisposition to heightened emotional vulnerability in response to stressful events.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Psykologiska institutionen , 2007.
Keyword [en]
Preferential preattentive processing, trait anxiety, emotional vulnerability, SCR
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7155ISBN: 978-91-7155-528-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-7155DiVA: diva2:197740
Public defence
2007-11-30, David Magnussonsalen (U31), hus 8, Frescati Hagväg 8, Stockholm, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2007-11-08 Created: 2007-10-31 Last updated: 2010-10-21Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Skin conductance responsein Swedish United Nations soldiers exposed to fear-relevant stimuli
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Skin conductance responsein Swedish United Nations soldiers exposed to fear-relevant stimuli
2003 In: Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, ISSN 1650-6073, Vol. 32, no 4, 161-165 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-24527 (URN)
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7155Available from: 2007-11-08 Created: 2007-10-31Bibliographically approved
2. Unconscious responses to Threatening Pictures: Interactive Effect of trait Anxiety and Social Desirability on Skin Conductance Responses
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Unconscious responses to Threatening Pictures: Interactive Effect of trait Anxiety and Social Desirability on Skin Conductance Responses
2006 In: Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, ISSN 1650-6073, Vol. 35, no 1, 11-18 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-24528 (URN)
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7155Available from: 2007-11-08 Created: 2007-10-31Bibliographically approved
3. Skin conductance responses as predictor of emotional responses to stressful life events
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Skin conductance responses as predictor of emotional responses to stressful life events
2007 In: Behaviour Research and Therapy, ISSN 0005-7967, Vol. 45, no 10, 2456-2463 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-24529 (URN)000250038600018 ()
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7155Available from: 2007-11-08 Created: 2007-10-31Bibliographically approved
4. Information-processing and emotional vulnerability: Using preattentive bias to predict self-reported and physiological responses to a stressor
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Information-processing and emotional vulnerability: Using preattentive bias to predict self-reported and physiological responses to a stressor
Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-24530 (URN)
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7155Available from: 2007-11-08 Created: 2007-10-31Bibliographically approved

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