Expectancy biases in fear and anxiety and their link to biases in attention

Aue, Tatjana; Okon-Singer, Hadas (2015). Expectancy biases in fear and anxiety and their link to biases in attention. Clinical psychology review, 42, pp. 83-95. Elsevier Science 10.1016/j.cpr.2015.08.005

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Healthy individuals often exhibit prioritized processing of aversive information, as manifested in enhanced orientation of attention to threatening stimuli compared with neutral items. In contrast to this adaptive behavior, anxious, fearful, and phobic individuals show exaggerated attention biases to threat. In addition, they overestimate the likelihood of encountering their feared stimulus and the severity of the consequences; both are examples of expectancy biases. The co-occurrence of attention and expectancy biases in fear and anxiety raises the question about causal influences. Herein, we summarize findings related to expectancy biases in fear and anxiety, and their association with attention biases. We suggest that evidence calls for more comprehensive research strategies in the investigation of mutual influences between expectancy and attention biases, as well as their combined effects on fear and anxiety. Moreover, both types of bias need to be related to other types of distorted information processing commonly observed in fear and anxiety (e.g., memory and interpretation biases). Finally, we propose new research directions that may be worth considering in developing more effective treatments for anxiety disorders.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Psychological and Behavioral Health

UniBE Contributor:

Aue, Tatjana

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

0272-7358

Publisher:

Elsevier Science

Funders:

[4] Swiss National Science Foundation

Language:

English

Submitter:

Tatjana Aue

Date Deposited:

04 Jul 2018 09:36

Last Modified:

17 Sep 2020 17:29

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.cpr.2015.08.005

PubMed ID:

26379081

Uncontrolled Keywords:

fear, phobia, anxiety, threat, expectancy bias, attention bias, combined bias hypothesis

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.118219

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/118219

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