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Interactive influences of emotion and extraversion on visual attention

Bendall, RCA; Begley, S; Thompson, C

Interactive influences of emotion and extraversion on visual attention Thumbnail


S Begley

C Thompson


Introduction: Emotion has been shown to influence selective visual attention. However, studies in this field have revealed contradictory findings regarding the nature of this influence. One possible explanation for the variation in findings is that affective inter‐individual differences impact both attention and emotion and may therefore moderate any influence of emotion on attention. The current work is a novel investigation of the effects of induced emotional states and the traits of extraversion and neuroticism on visual attention. This allowed a direct investigation of any impact of extraversion and neuroticism on the way in which emotion influences attention. Methods: Participants were induced into positive, neutral, and negative emotional states before completing a change detection flicker task in which they were required to locate a change to a real‐world scene as quickly and accurately as possible. Results: Participants scoring higher in extraversion were more accurate but slower at detecting changes. Importantly, this was particularly evident when induced into a negative emotional state compared to a neutral emotional state. Neuroticism had no impact on attention. Conclusions: The current study provides evidence that extraversion can moderate the influence of negative emotion upon visual attention and may help to explain some of the contradictory findings in this research area. When considered independently, increased trait levels of extraversion were associated with improved change detection. Individuals higher in extraversion appear better equipped to regulate negative emotion compared to individuals lower in extraversion, supporting research linking extraversion to affective reactivity and models of psychopathology.


Bendall, R., Begley, S., & Thompson, C. (2021). Interactive influences of emotion and extraversion on visual attention. Brain and Behavior, 11(11), e2387.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 21, 2021
Online Publication Date Oct 17, 2021
Publication Date Nov 24, 2021
Deposit Date Oct 18, 2021
Publicly Available Date Oct 18, 2021
Journal Brain and Behavior
Print ISSN 2162-3279
Electronic ISSN 2157-9032
Publisher Wiley
Volume 11
Issue 11
Pages e2387
Publisher URL
Related Public URLs
Additional Information Additional Information : ** Article version: VoR ** From Wiley via Jisc Publications Router ** Licence for VoR version of this article: **Journal IDs: issn 2162-3279 **Article IDs: publisher-id: brb32387 **History: published 17-10-2021; accepted 21-09-2021; rev-recd 16-09-2021; submitted 10-02-2021


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