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Memory and attention for social threat: anxious hypercoding-avoidance and submissive gaze aversion.
Emotion. 2012 Aug; 12(4):666-72.E

Abstract

Rivalry for dominance is a recurrent challenge in human social interaction. During these social dominance interactions, some people rapidly break eye contact, whereas others merely try to avoid such eye-to-eye confrontations. The first is an example of submissive gaze aversion, whereas the second reflects anxious gaze avoidance. We tested these distinct forms of gaze behavior within a social-memory setting and show that anxious individuals vigilantly attend to, superiorly remember, and subsequently avoid social threats (i.e., angry faces). Furthermore, submissive individuals, as indexed by high trait anxiety and low trait anger, exhibit rapid gaze aversion from facial anger. Mechanisms of hypervigilance-avoidance thus seem to underlie natural gaze behavior and enhanced memory for threat in anxiety. Accordingly, we propose the term hypercoding-avoidance, which describes how anxious individuals habitually scan their immediate social environment for threat, remember its location, and subsequently avoid it. Moreover, this is the first experimental evidence showing that submissive gaze aversion is distinct from anxious gaze avoidance.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands. d.terburg@uu.nlNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

22309731

Citation

Terburg, David, et al. "Memory and Attention for Social Threat: Anxious Hypercoding-avoidance and Submissive Gaze Aversion." Emotion (Washington, D.C.), vol. 12, no. 4, 2012, pp. 666-72.
Terburg D, Aarts H, van Honk J. Memory and attention for social threat: anxious hypercoding-avoidance and submissive gaze aversion. Emotion. 2012;12(4):666-72.
Terburg, D., Aarts, H., & van Honk, J. (2012). Memory and attention for social threat: anxious hypercoding-avoidance and submissive gaze aversion. Emotion (Washington, D.C.), 12(4), 666-72. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0027201
Terburg D, Aarts H, van Honk J. Memory and Attention for Social Threat: Anxious Hypercoding-avoidance and Submissive Gaze Aversion. Emotion. 2012;12(4):666-72. PubMed PMID: 22309731.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Memory and attention for social threat: anxious hypercoding-avoidance and submissive gaze aversion. AU - Terburg,David, AU - Aarts,Henk, AU - van Honk,Jack, Y1 - 2012/02/06/ PY - 2012/2/8/entrez PY - 2012/2/9/pubmed PY - 2012/11/8/medline SP - 666 EP - 72 JF - Emotion (Washington, D.C.) JO - Emotion VL - 12 IS - 4 N2 - Rivalry for dominance is a recurrent challenge in human social interaction. During these social dominance interactions, some people rapidly break eye contact, whereas others merely try to avoid such eye-to-eye confrontations. The first is an example of submissive gaze aversion, whereas the second reflects anxious gaze avoidance. We tested these distinct forms of gaze behavior within a social-memory setting and show that anxious individuals vigilantly attend to, superiorly remember, and subsequently avoid social threats (i.e., angry faces). Furthermore, submissive individuals, as indexed by high trait anxiety and low trait anger, exhibit rapid gaze aversion from facial anger. Mechanisms of hypervigilance-avoidance thus seem to underlie natural gaze behavior and enhanced memory for threat in anxiety. Accordingly, we propose the term hypercoding-avoidance, which describes how anxious individuals habitually scan their immediate social environment for threat, remember its location, and subsequently avoid it. Moreover, this is the first experimental evidence showing that submissive gaze aversion is distinct from anxious gaze avoidance. SN - 1931-1516 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/22309731/Memory_and_attention_for_social_threat:_anxious_hypercoding_avoidance_and_submissive_gaze_aversion_ L2 - http://content.apa.org/journals/emo/12/4/666 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -