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Emotional capture by fearful expressions varies with psychopathic traits

Ahmed, SP; Hodsoll, S; Dalton, P; Sebastian, CL; (2018) Emotional capture by fearful expressions varies with psychopathic traits. Cognition and Emotion , 32 (1) pp. 207-214. 10.1080/02699931.2016.1278358. Gold open access

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Abstract

Task-irrelevant emotional expressions are known to capture attention, with the extent of “emotional capture” varying with psychopathic traits in antisocial samples. We investigated whether this variation extends throughout the continuum of psychopathic traits (and co-occurring trait anxiety) in a community sample. Participants (N = 85) searched for a target face among facial distractors. As predicted, angry and fearful faces interfered with search, indicated by slower reaction times relative to neutral faces. When fear appeared as either target or distractor, diminished emotional capture was seen with increasing affective-interpersonal psychopathic traits. However, moderation analyses revealed that this was only when lifestyle-antisocial psychopathic traits were low, consistent with evidence suggesting that these two facets of psychopathic traits display opposing relationships with emotional reactivity. Anxiety did not show the predicted relationships with emotional capture effects. Findings show that normative variation in high-level individual differences in psychopathic traits influence automatic bias to emotional stimuli.

Type: Article
Title: Emotional capture by fearful expressions varies with psychopathic traits
Open access status: An open access publication
DOI: 10.1080/02699931.2016.1278358
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02699931.2016.1278358
Language: English
Additional information: © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions. It is a gold OA article (CC BY 4.0).
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10055534
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