The impact of anxiety on processing efficiency : implications for the attentional control theory

Wong, Ides, Mahar, Douglas P., Titchener, Kirsteen, & Freeman, James E. (2013) The impact of anxiety on processing efficiency : implications for the attentional control theory. The Open Behavioral Science Journal, 7(6), pp. 7-15.

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Abstract

The Attentional Control Theory (ACT) proposes that high-anxious individuals maintain performance effectiveness (accuracy) at the expense of processing efficiency (response time), in particular, the two central executive functions of inhibition and shifting. In contrast, research has generally failed to consider the third executive function which relates to the function of updating. In the current study, seventy-five participants completed the Parametric Go/No-Go and n-back tasks, as well as the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory in order to explore the effects of anxiety on attention. Results indicated that anxiety lead to decay in processing efficiency, but not in performance effectiveness, across all three Central Executive functions (inhibition, set-shifting and updating). Interestingly, participants with high levels of trait anxiety also exhibited impaired performance effectiveness on the n-back task designed to measure the updating function. Findings are discussed in relation to developing a new model of ACT that also includes the role of preattentive processes and dual-task coordination when exploring the effects of anxiety on task performance.

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ID Code: 56005
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.2174/1874230001307010007
ISSN: 1874-2300
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Health Clinical and Counselling Psychology (170106)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Please consult the authors.
Deposited On: 02 Jan 2013 04:31
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2017 19:06

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