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Publication - Dr Chris Kent

    State anxiety and information processing

    A 7.5% carbon dioxide challenge study

    Citation

    Easey, KE, Catling, JC, Kent, C, Crouch, C, Jackson, S, Munafò, MR & Attwood, AS, 2018, ‘State anxiety and information processing: A 7.5% carbon dioxide challenge study’. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, vol 25., pp. 732-738

    Abstract

    We used the 7.5% carbon dioxide model of anxiety induction to investigate the effects of state anxiety on simple information processing. In both high- and low-anxious states, participants (n = 36) completed an auditory–visual matching task and a visual binary categorization task. The stimuli were either degraded or clear, so as to investigate whether the effects of anxiety are greater when signal clarity is compromised. Accuracy in the matching task was lower during CO2 inhalation and for degraded stimuli. In the categorization task, response times and indecision (measured using mouse trajectories) were greater during CO2 inhalation and for degraded stimuli. For most measures, we found no evidence of Gas × Clarity interactions. These data indicate that state anxiety negatively impacts simple information processing and do not support claims that anxiety may benefit performance in low-cognitively-demanding tasks. These findings have important implications for understanding the impact of state anxiety in real-world situations.

    Full details in the University publications repository