Engagement and Disengagement Components of Attenttional Bias to Emotional Stimuli in Anxiety and Depression

Andreas Blicher*, Marie Louise Reinholdt-Dunne*, Morten Hvenegaard, Clas Winding, Anders Petersen, Signe Vangkilde

*Corresponding author for this work

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Previous research shows that attentional bias is associated with emotional difficulties. The aim of the present study was to investigate the engagement and disengagement components of attentional bias to emotional stimuli in anxiety and depression using the attentional assessment task. The experimental groups consisted of 54 clinical participants in treatment for anxiety or depression and 54 control participants. The results indicated that the clinical participants showed greater levels of attentional avoidance of emotional stimuli than the control participants. Additional subgroup analyses suggested that this effect may be limited to symptoms of anxiety and not symptoms of depression. Results are discussed in relation to current models of information processing in emotional disorders.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychopathology
Issue number3
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxiety
  • Attentional bias
  • Depression
  • Disengagement
  • Emotional stimuli
  • Engagement

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