Attentional bias for angry facial expression in anxious children


1 Department of Education and Psychology, Payame Noor University

2 Department of Clinical Psychology, College of Education and Psychology, Shiraz University

3 Department of Psychology, College of Education and Psychology, Tehran University


The aim of this study was to examine the attentional biases for emotional faces in low and high trait anxious children using schematic faces in a pictorial version of the probe detection task. The dependent variable was an index of attentional bias derived from manual reaction times to probe stimuli. The between-participants variable was Group (Low and High trait anxious children), and the within-participants variable was Type of emotional faces (angry, happy, neutral). The stimuli consisted of schematic angry, happy and neutral faces. The reaction times data indicated enhanced vigilance for angry rather than neutral faces in high trait anxious children and avoidance from angry faces in low trait anxious children. There was no evidence of anxiety-related bias for happy faces.