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Rejection sensitivity and disruption of attention by social threat cues

By Kathy Berenson, Anett Gyurak, Ozlem Ayduk, Geraldine Downey, Matthew. J. Garner, Karin Mogg, Brendan P. Bradley and Daniel S. Pine


Two studies tested the hypothesis that Rejection Sensitivity (RS) increases vulnerability to disruption of attention by social threat cues, as would be consistent with prior evidence that it motivates individuals to prioritize detecting and managing potential rejection at a cost to other personal and interpersonal goals. In Study 1, RS predicted disruption of ongoing goal-directed attention by social threat but not negative or neutral words in an Emotional Stroop task. In Study 2, RS predicted attentional avoidance of threatening but not pleasant faces in a Visual Probe task. Threat-avoidant attention was also associated with features of borderline personality disorder. This research extends understanding of processes by which RS contributes to a self-perpetuating cycle of interpersonal problems and distress

Topics: RC0321, BF
Year: 2009
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Provided by: e-Prints Soton
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