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Meta-Analysis
, 133 (1), 1-24

Threat-related Attentional Bias in Anxious and Nonanxious Individuals: A Meta-Analytic Study

Affiliations
Meta-Analysis

Threat-related Attentional Bias in Anxious and Nonanxious Individuals: A Meta-Analytic Study

Yair Bar-Haim et al. Psychol Bull.

Abstract

This meta-analysis of 172 studies (N = 2,263 anxious,N = 1,768 nonanxious) examined the boundary conditions of threat-related attentional biases in anxiety. Overall, the results show that the bias is reliably demonstrated with different experimental paradigms and under a variety of experimental conditions, but that it is only an effect size of d = 0.45. Although processes requiring conscious perception of threat contribute to the bias, a significant bias is also observed with stimuli outside awareness. The bias is of comparable magnitude across different types of anxious populations (individuals with different clinical disorders, high-anxious nonclinical individuals, anxious children and adults) and is not observed in nonanxious individuals. Empirical and clinical implications as well as future directions for research are discussed.

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