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Three experiments are reported which examine attentional bias in high trait-anxious, low trait-anxious, and repressor subjects. Measures of interference did not provide consistent results. However, negative priming effects suggested that high trait-anxious subjects had difficulty inhibiting threat-related information, as well as nonthreat-related distracting information under conditions of attentional search. There was some evidence that individuals with a repressive coping style were particularly efficient in inhibiting threat-related information. It is suggested that defective inhibition of distracting information may be an important mechanism in understanding the cognitive basis of anxiety.© 1994, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

Original publication




Journal article


Cognition and Emotion

Publication Date





165 - 195