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dc.contributor.authorXu, Mengran
dc.contributor.authorRowe, Katelyn
dc.contributor.authorPurdon, Christine 20:14:27 (GMT) 20:14:27 (GMT)
dc.descriptionThis is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Cognitive Therapy and Research. The final authenticated version is available online at:
dc.description.abstractBackground People with anxiety difficulties show different patterns in their deployment of attention to threat compared to people without anxiety difficulties. These attentional biases are assumed to play a critical role in the development and persistence of anxiety. However, little is known about factors that influence attentional biases to threat. An emerging body of evidence suggests that visual attention to threat varies across the time course according to one’s motivation to approach vs. avoid threat. Methods In order to better understand the relationship between motivation, attentional biases to threat, and anxiety, we had participants high in spider fear complete a sustained-attention task in full view of a live tarantula while their eye movements were tracked. Results Participants who were ambivalent about whether to look at the spider or to avoid looking exhibited a unique pattern of visual attention to the spider, and reported higher spider fear and more negative affect than did other participants at the end of the study. Conclusions Our findings suggest that anxiety persistence may have more to do with goal prioritization than innate attentional biases. Future studies of attentional biases to threat should take motivation into account and study attention across the time course. Ambivalent motivation to threat should also be targeted in exposure therapy.en
dc.description.sponsorshipFunding was provided Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (Grant No.1850-500-105-0654-112440-xxxx-0000-000).en
dc.relation.ispartofseriesCognitive Therapy and Research;
dc.subjectattentional bias to threaten
dc.subjectapproach-avoidance conflicten
dc.subjectambivalent motivationen
dc.subjectspider fearen
dc.subjectspider anxietyen
dc.titleTo Approach or to Avoid: The Role of Ambivalent Motivation in Attentional Biases to Threat and Spider Fearen
dcterms.bibliographicCitationXu, M., Rowe, K., & Purdon, C. (2021). To Approach or to Avoid: The Role of Ambivalent Motivation in Attentional Biases to Threat and Spider Fear. Cognitive Therapy and Research.
uws.contributor.affiliation1Faculty of Artsen

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