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Gepubliceerd in: Cognitive Therapy and Research 3/2014

01-06-2014 | Original Article

Measuring Attentional Bias to Threat: Reliability of Dot Probe and Eye Movement Indices

Auteurs: Stephanie Waechter, Andrea L. Nelson, Caitlin Wright, Ashley Hyatt, Jonathan Oakman

Gepubliceerd in: Cognitive Therapy and Research | Uitgave 3/2014

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Abstract

A variety of methodological paradigms, including dot probe and eye movement tasks, have been used to examine attentional biases to threat in anxiety disorders. Unfortunately, little attention has been devoted to the psychometric properties of measures from these paradigms. In the current study, participants selected for high and low social anxiety completed a dot probe and eye movement task using angry, disgust and happy facial expressions paired with neutral expressions. Results indicated that dot probe bias scores, eye movement first fixation indices, and eye movement proportions of viewing time in the first 1,500 ms had unacceptably low reliability. However, eye movement indices of attentional bias over the full 5,000 ms time course had excellent reliability. Individuals’ dot probe and eye movement biases were largely uncorrelated across the two tasks and demonstrated little relation with social anxiety scores. Implications for future research are discussed.
Voetnoten
1
Of course, negative reliabilities are theoretically impossible and are considered to be misestimates of zero.
 
2
NimStim actors used in the dot probe task were 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 28, 29, 31, 32, 33, 34, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, and 41. Actors used in the eye movement task were 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 28, 29, 31, 33, 34, 36, and 37.
 
3
Images were positioned above and below the fixation cross, rather than side-by-side, since previous research has found the following: (1) the reliability of the dot probe with stimuli side-by-side was poor (Staugaard 2009) and (2) the probability of looking at the left image first in eye movement tasks was high (e.g., .76, Nelson et al. 2010; manuscript in preparation), regardless of stimulus type.
 
4
Given that social desirability has been known to confound the results of attentional bias studies, correlations between SIAS scores and bias scores were computed again with SDS scores entered as a covariate. The pattern of results did not change.
 
5
We tested the theory that the negative reliabilities are driven by individual differences in fixating on the top image by generating semi-random data that simulated the ‘look up bias’ while preserving individual differences in this tendency. The simulation replicated the first fixation data pattern. The simulation is available from the first author on request.
 
6
One participant’s time course data could not be extracted due technical difficulties despite having completed the eye movement task.
 
7
Correlations between SIAS scores and eye movement indices were computed again with SDS scores entered as a covariate and the pattern of results did not change.
 
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Metagegevens
Titel
Measuring Attentional Bias to Threat: Reliability of Dot Probe and Eye Movement Indices
Auteurs
Stephanie Waechter
Andrea L. Nelson
Caitlin Wright
Ashley Hyatt
Jonathan Oakman
Publicatiedatum
01-06-2014
Uitgeverij
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Cognitive Therapy and Research / Uitgave 3/2014
Print ISSN: 0147-5916
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-2819
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10608-013-9588-2

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