Attentional bias training in reducing symptoms of anxiety
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prof. dr hab. W. Łosiak, Instytut Psychologii UJ, Zakład Psychologii Klinicznej IPs UJ
prof.dr hab K. Popiołek, Szkoła Wyższa Psychologii Społecznej w Warszawie, Wydział Zamiejscowy SWPS w Katowicach
Submission date: 2014-02-21
Final revision date: 2014-06-05
Acceptance date: 2014-06-10
Publication date: 2015-02-24
Corresponding author
Agata Blaut   

prof. dr hab. W. Łosiak, Instytut Psychologii UJ, Zakład Psychologii Klinicznej IPs UJ, Al. Mickiewicza 3, 31-120 Kraków, Polska
Psychiatr Pol 2015;49(1):57-66
Anxiety is related to attentional bias, i.e. a tendency to pay attention to threatening stimuli. This occurs both in individuals suffering from anxiety disorders, and in healthy individuals with elevated levels of trait anxiety. This article is an analysis of a research paradigm, used to modify attentional bias (CBM-A Cognitive Bias Modification – Attention). A growing number of studies indicate that with the help of computer methods such as a modified version of the dot-probe task we can train individuals to direct attention away from threatening stimuli, which in turn reduces symptoms of anxiety. This effect was observed in adults, adolescents and children suffering from social phobia, generalised anxiety disorder and subclinical symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Effectiveness of this method constitutes the evidence for attentional bias being among the causes of anxiety disorders. The article also analyses the still not completely clear mechanisms of CBM-A and limitations of this method.
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