The Effects Anxiety has on Attentional Bias and Working Memory
Research has shown that anxiety impairs attention and working memory, especially when it comes to completing a mentally demanding cognitive task such as the emotional Stroop paradigm or the n-back task. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether state anxiety affects behavioral performance on executive function tasks. State anxiety was induced using negatively valenced images from the International Affective Picture System, while neutral images served as the control. We compared behavioral performance between individuals in the negative mood induction against those in the neutral mood induction. Trait anxiety was used as a covariate for both groups. This allowed us to determine whether state anxiety, as apposed to trait anxiety, plays a significant role in interfering with attentional control or working memory systems.