Emotional stroop performance for masked angry faces: it's BAS, not BIS

Emotion. 2004 Sep;4(3):305-11. doi: 10.1037/1528-3542.4.3.305.


Theoretical models concerning selective attention to emotional stimuli predict heightened vigilance to angry faces in people with heightened trait anxiety or greater activity of the Behavioral Inhibition System (BIS). Recent evidence from electroencephalographic lateralization and affect studies and from studies assessing attentional biases to angry faces suggest, however, that heightened anger and activity of the Behavioral Activation System (BAS) should predict vigilant responding to angry faces. Social anxiety should predict avoidance of angry faces. Results from a masked emotional Stroop task verified these hypotheses, but an unmasked emotional Stroop provided no reliable relations. This dissociation confirms earlier claims that masked emotional Stroop performance is impervious to conscious control over the cognitive-emotional processes, as measured by the Stroop task.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Affect*
  • Anger*
  • Attention
  • Cognition
  • Electroencephalography
  • Facial Expression*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Perceptual Masking*