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Contextual changes influence attention flexibility towards new goals

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Abstract
The ability to flexibly process affective information underlies resilient adaptation to changing situations. However, the impact of social contextual changes on affective flexibility has not been examined yet, although this may be crucial to understand how attention operates when changing situations require allocation of different emotional goals. In a novel eye-tracking task, participants had to deploy the goals to attend to positive or negative facial expressions based on contextual cues. We found that dysphorics, compared to non-dysphorics, were faster in switching to negative goals, but slower in switching to positive goals, when the context remained constant. However, when the context changed, dysphorics showed an even faster switch to negative goals, while non-dysphorics became more adept at switching towards positive goals. These results suggest that contextual changes exacerbate the negativity and positivity biases exhibited by dysphoric and non-dysphoric individuals, respectively. The study provides evidence for the key role played by contextual changes in guiding attention allocation and thereby emotion regulation processes. These findings provide preliminary evidence for the role of contextual inflexibility in dysphoria. Results need to be replicated in a clinical sample to further clarify the role of inflexibility over the course of depression.
Keywords
Experimental and Cognitive Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Depression, Flexibility, Context, Goal switching, Eye-tracking, EMOTION REGULATION, INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES, COGNITIVE FLEXIBILITY, SOCIAL ANXIETY, DEPRESSION, VULNERABILITY, REAPPRAISAL, VALIDATION, BIASES, INSENSITIVITY

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Citation

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MLA
Godara, Malvika, et al. “Contextual Changes Influence Attention Flexibility towards New Goals.” COGNITIVE THERAPY AND RESEARCH, vol. 44, 2020, pp. 327–44, doi:10.1007/s10608-019-10072-5.
APA
Godara, M., Sanchez-Lopez, A., Liefooghe, B., & De Raedt, R. (2020). Contextual changes influence attention flexibility towards new goals. COGNITIVE THERAPY AND RESEARCH, 44, 327–344. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10608-019-10072-5
Chicago author-date
Godara, Malvika, Alvaro Sanchez-Lopez, Baptist Liefooghe, and Rudi De Raedt. 2020. “Contextual Changes Influence Attention Flexibility towards New Goals.” COGNITIVE THERAPY AND RESEARCH 44: 327–44. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10608-019-10072-5.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Godara, Malvika, Alvaro Sanchez-Lopez, Baptist Liefooghe, and Rudi De Raedt. 2020. “Contextual Changes Influence Attention Flexibility towards New Goals.” COGNITIVE THERAPY AND RESEARCH 44: 327–344. doi:10.1007/s10608-019-10072-5.
Vancouver
1.
Godara M, Sanchez-Lopez A, Liefooghe B, De Raedt R. Contextual changes influence attention flexibility towards new goals. COGNITIVE THERAPY AND RESEARCH. 2020;44:327–44.
IEEE
[1]
M. Godara, A. Sanchez-Lopez, B. Liefooghe, and R. De Raedt, “Contextual changes influence attention flexibility towards new goals,” COGNITIVE THERAPY AND RESEARCH, vol. 44, pp. 327–344, 2020.
@article{8655529,
  abstract     = {{The ability to flexibly process affective information underlies resilient adaptation to changing situations. However, the impact of social contextual changes on affective flexibility has not been examined yet, although this may be crucial to understand how attention operates when changing situations require allocation of different emotional goals. In a novel eye-tracking task, participants had to deploy the goals to attend to positive or negative facial expressions based on contextual cues. We found that dysphorics, compared to non-dysphorics, were faster in switching to negative goals, but slower in switching to positive goals, when the context remained constant. However, when the context changed, dysphorics showed an even faster switch to negative goals, while non-dysphorics became more adept at switching towards positive goals. These results suggest that contextual changes exacerbate the negativity and positivity biases exhibited by dysphoric and non-dysphoric individuals, respectively. The study provides evidence for the key role played by contextual changes in guiding attention allocation and thereby emotion regulation processes. These findings provide preliminary evidence for the role of contextual inflexibility in dysphoria. Results need to be replicated in a clinical sample to further clarify the role of inflexibility over the course of depression.}},
  author       = {{Godara, Malvika and Sanchez-Lopez, Alvaro and Liefooghe, Baptist and De Raedt, Rudi}},
  issn         = {{0147-5916}},
  journal      = {{COGNITIVE THERAPY AND RESEARCH}},
  keywords     = {{Experimental and Cognitive Psychology,Clinical Psychology,Depression,Flexibility,Context,Goal switching,Eye-tracking,EMOTION REGULATION,INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES,COGNITIVE FLEXIBILITY,SOCIAL ANXIETY,DEPRESSION,VULNERABILITY,REAPPRAISAL,VALIDATION,BIASES,INSENSITIVITY}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  pages        = {{327--344}},
  title        = {{Contextual changes influence attention flexibility towards new goals}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10608-019-10072-5}},
  volume       = {{44}},
  year         = {{2020}},
}

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