International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy
  

Volume 19 Num. 2 - June 2019

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The Affective Gallery: A Naturalistic Exploration of the Relationship Between Attentional Bias and Depressive Symptoms

Volume 19 Num. 2 - June 2019 - Pages 239-249

Authors:

Justin Thomas , Marie-Clare Bakker , Ayesha Al Jaberi , Monique Raynor

Abstract:

Eye-movement studies exploring mood disorders and attentional biases have relied heavily on laboratory-based tasks. While this approach has been useful, it may lack ecological validity. The present study aimed to examine attentional bias in a naturalistic setting, exploring how individuals with differing levels of depressive symptomatology look at images in an art gallery. Participants (N= 60), college women, were assessed for depressive symptoms prior to being fitted with a portable eye-tracking device and encouraged to browse an exhibition at Al-Fanoun Art Gallery. The exhibition, staged for the purpose of the study, comprised 12 enlarged images from the International Affective Picture System collection; six positive and six negative. Depressive symptomatology was correlated with longer gaze durations for negative images (dysphoric bias) and also with shorter gaze durations for positive images (anhedonic bias). The study is limited by its use of an all-female student sample. However, these findings support previous studies reporting attentional biases associated with low mood and mood disorders. The methodological innovation demonstrated in the present study may prove helpful for interventions aimed at attentional bias modification.

How to cite this paper: Thomas J, Bakker M-C, Al Jaberi A, & Raynor M (2019). The Affective Gallery: A Naturalistic Exploration of the Relationship Between Attentional Bias and Depressive Symptoms. International Journal of Psychology & Psychological Therapy, 19, 2, 239-249.

THIS PAPER WILL BE AVAILABLE ONLINE IN OPEN ACCESS on June 1st, 2020.

Key words:

depression, attention, eye-tracking, attentonal bias, affective images.

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