Experienced disgust causes a negative interpretation bias: A causal role for disgust in anxious psychopathology.

Davey, Graham, Bickerstaffe, Sarah and MacDonald, Benie (2006) Experienced disgust causes a negative interpretation bias: A causal role for disgust in anxious psychopathology. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 44 (10). pp. 1375-1384. ISSN 0140-525X

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Abstract

This paper reports the results of an experiment investigating the effect of induced disgust on interpretational bias using the homophone spelling task. Four groups of participants experienced a disgust, anxiety, happy or neutral mood induction and then completed the homophone spelling task which requires the participant to interpret ambiguous words presented through headphones. Both the disgust and anxiety groups interpreted significantly more threat/neutral homophones as threat than both the happy and neutral groups; the disgust group also interpreted significantly fewer positive/neutral homophones as positive than the happy group. These findings are consistent with the view that induced disgust causes a negative interpretational bias which is similar to that reported for anxiety. The results could not be interpreted in terms of the disgust induction concurrently raising levels of self-reported anxiety, but could be interpreted in terms of disgust maintaining existing levels of anxiety. The effect of disgust was to facilitate negative interpretations rather than emotional interpretations regardless of valence. These findings provide the basis for a causal role for disgust in anxious psychopathology. Because the effect is a non-specific emotion-congruent one, elevated disgust levels will result in a predisposition to interpret information in a threatening way across a broad range of anxious- and threat-relevant domains.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: First author: second author UG student, MacDonald a RF on Davey's grant
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Graham Davey
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:37
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2012 09:34
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/13555
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