Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Counseling Psychology & Community Services
Many researchers have studied the areas of attention and anxiety. However, there is a lack of knowledge about anxiety when examined with the Attentional Blink (AB) paradigm. It was believed that an increase in anxiety would lead to an increase in the ABs. Due to high comorbidity of anxiety and depression, both constructs were measured and hypotheses were formulated to predict if the effects anxiety has on attentional dual tasks are more highly related to anxiety alone, depression alone, or the combination of anxiety and depression. Participants were undergraduate and graduate students that were prescreened for anxiety with the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI; Beck & Steer, 1993). After completing the AB trials, participants filled out the BAI and the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II, Beck, Steer, & Brown, 1996). Then the accuracy rates from the AB trials and the scores from the BAI were compared. ANOVAs were conducted to determine if the level of anxiety was related to AB. Main effects were found for instruction condition (single- or dual-task) and for second target (T2) position. A two- way interaction was found for instruction and T2 position; however, no significant interactions were found when anxiety level was examined. A regression analysis was also conducted to determine whether anxiety score predicted the size of the participants’ ABs. The regression was not significant. These findings suggest that even though anxiety is an important variable, it did not affect participants’ performance on the AB task. An additional regression analysis was conducted using the scores obtained from the BDI-II to determine whether or not depression predicted the size of AB. Possible reasons for the findings are discussed.
Trangsrud, Heather B., "Dual-Task Attentional Limitations in Anxiety: Examined with the Attentional Blink Paradigm and the Beck Anxiety Inventory" (2002). Theses and Dissertations. 1053.