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Older adults' attentional deployment : differential gaze patterns for different negative mood states

Ineke Demeyer (UGent) , Alvaro Sanchez Lopez (UGent) and Rudi De Raedt (UGent)
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Abstract
Background and objectives: Older adults are characterized by an attentional preference for positive over negative information. Since this positivity effect is considered to be an emotion regulation strategy, it should be more pronounced when emotion regulation is needed. In contrast to previous studies that focused on the effects of sad mood on attention, we used a stressor to activate emotion regulation and evaluate the effects of different types of mood state changes. Moreover, we evaluated mood effects on attentional processes using a paradigm that allows disentangling between different attentional engagement and disengagement processes. Methods: Sixty older adults were randomly assigned to receive a stressor or a control task. Before and after this manipulation, mood state levels (happy, sad, nervous, calm) were assessed. Next, attentional processing of happy, sad, and angry faces was investigated using an eye-tracking paradigm in which participants had to either engage their attention towards or disengage their attention away from emotional stimuli. Results: Changes in different mood state levels were associated with different attentional disengagement strategies. As expected, older adults who increased in sad mood level showed a larger positivity effect as evidenced by a longer time to disengage attention from happy faces. However, older adults who received the tension induction and who decreased in calm mood level were characterized by longer times to disengage attention from sad faces. Limitations: The stressor was only partially effective as it led to changes in calm mood, but not in nervous mood. Conclusions: These results suggest that older adults may deploy a positivity effect in attention (i.e., longer times to disengage from positive information) in order to regulate sad mood, but that this effect may be hampered during the confrontation with stressors. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords
MINI-MENTAL-STATE, AGE-DIFFERENCES, EYE-TRACKING, INFORMATION, EMOTION, VULNERABILITY, METAANALYSIS, PREFERENCES, DEPRESSION, REACTIVITY, Older adults, Attentional bias, Emotion regulation, Eye tracking, Negative mood

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Demeyer, Ineke, Alvaro Sanchez Lopez, and Rudi De Raedt. “Older Adults’ Attentional Deployment : Differential Gaze Patterns for Different Negative Mood States.” JOURNAL OF BEHAVIOR THERAPY AND EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHIATRY 55 (2017): 49–56. Print.
APA
Demeyer, I., Sanchez Lopez, A., & De Raedt, R. (2017). Older adults’ attentional deployment : differential gaze patterns for different negative mood states. JOURNAL OF BEHAVIOR THERAPY AND EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHIATRY, 55, 49–56.
Chicago author-date
Demeyer, Ineke, Alvaro Sanchez Lopez, and Rudi De Raedt. 2017. “Older Adults’ Attentional Deployment : Differential Gaze Patterns for Different Negative Mood States.” Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry 55: 49–56.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Demeyer, Ineke, Alvaro Sanchez Lopez, and Rudi De Raedt. 2017. “Older Adults’ Attentional Deployment : Differential Gaze Patterns for Different Negative Mood States.” Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry 55: 49–56.
Vancouver
1.
Demeyer I, Sanchez Lopez A, De Raedt R. Older adults’ attentional deployment : differential gaze patterns for different negative mood states. JOURNAL OF BEHAVIOR THERAPY AND EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHIATRY. Oxford: Pergamon-elsevier Science Ltd; 2017;55:49–56.
IEEE
[1]
I. Demeyer, A. Sanchez Lopez, and R. De Raedt, “Older adults’ attentional deployment : differential gaze patterns for different negative mood states,” JOURNAL OF BEHAVIOR THERAPY AND EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHIATRY, vol. 55, pp. 49–56, 2017.
@article{8518411,
  abstract     = {Background and objectives: Older adults are characterized by an attentional preference for positive over negative information. Since this positivity effect is considered to be an emotion regulation strategy, it should be more pronounced when emotion regulation is needed. In contrast to previous studies that focused on the effects of sad mood on attention, we used a stressor to activate emotion regulation and evaluate the effects of different types of mood state changes. Moreover, we evaluated mood effects on attentional processes using a paradigm that allows disentangling between different attentional engagement and disengagement processes. Methods: Sixty older adults were randomly assigned to receive a stressor or a control task. Before and after this manipulation, mood state levels (happy, sad, nervous, calm) were assessed. Next, attentional processing of happy, sad, and angry faces was investigated using an eye-tracking paradigm in which participants had to either engage their attention towards or disengage their attention away from emotional stimuli. Results: Changes in different mood state levels were associated with different attentional disengagement strategies. As expected, older adults who increased in sad mood level showed a larger positivity effect as evidenced by a longer time to disengage attention from happy faces. However, older adults who received the tension induction and who decreased in calm mood level were characterized by longer times to disengage attention from sad faces. Limitations: The stressor was only partially effective as it led to changes in calm mood, but not in nervous mood. Conclusions: These results suggest that older adults may deploy a positivity effect in attention (i.e., longer times to disengage from positive information) in order to regulate sad mood, but that this effect may be hampered during the confrontation with stressors. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.},
  author       = {Demeyer, Ineke and Sanchez Lopez, Alvaro and De Raedt, Rudi},
  issn         = {0005-7916},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF BEHAVIOR THERAPY AND EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHIATRY},
  keywords     = {MINI-MENTAL-STATE,AGE-DIFFERENCES,EYE-TRACKING,INFORMATION,EMOTION,VULNERABILITY,METAANALYSIS,PREFERENCES,DEPRESSION,REACTIVITY,Older adults,Attentional bias,Emotion regulation,Eye tracking,Negative mood},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {49--56},
  publisher    = {Pergamon-elsevier Science Ltd},
  title        = {Older adults' attentional deployment : differential gaze patterns for different negative mood states},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbtep.2016.11.012},
  volume       = {55},
  year         = {2017},
}

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