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Predicting attention and avoidance: When do avoiders attend?

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Three avoidance measures, the Miller Behavioural Style Scale (MBSS), Index of Self-Regulation of Emotion (ISE) and Mainz Coping Inventory (MCI), were compared in their ability to predict attention and avoidance of threats in the emotional Stroop task. It was also examined if the avoidance mechanism of individuals who would normally avoid threat-indicating words becomes disrupted under conditions of dopamine reduction. Results show that only the ISE predicted attention/avoidance of threat-indicating words. In addition, the avoidance mechanism, as measured by the ISE and MCI, was not activated when regular smokers abstained from smoking.
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Keywords: cigarettes; cognitive avoidance; emotional Stroop task; nicotine; repressive defensiveness

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay 2: McGill University, Montreal

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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