A relationship between weak attentional control and cognitive distortions, explained by negative affect
Booth, Robert and Sharma, Dinkar and Dawood, Faiqa and Doğan, Melis and Emam, Haidy Mahmoud Ahmed and Gönenç, Sude Sena and Kula, Nur Aslışah and Mazıcı, Bengisu and Saraçyakupoğlu, Atakan and Shahzad, Asad Ur Rehman (2019) A relationship between weak attentional control and cognitive distortions, explained by negative affect. PLoS One, 14 (4). ISSN 1932-6203
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0215399
People high in negative affect (anxiety or depression) show cognitive distortions, specific thinking errors which contribute to the maintenance of their condition. It is thought that weak attentional control is a risk factor for negative affect and emotional disorders, because weak attentional control exaggerates the expression of attentional bias, another cognitive feature of emotional disorders. We wondered whether weak attentional control might similarly exaggerate the expression of cognitive distortions. In two samples of students from Turkey and the UK, we found that weak attentional control was indeed related to cognitive distortions, but this relationship was explained by both variables' relationships with negative affect. This suggests that weak attentional control, while related to negative affect, does not necessarily exaggerate all of its cognitive features. There seems to be a limit on the affective consequences of poor attentional control, which may limit its clinical usefulness as a risk factor for emotional disorders.
Repository Staff Only: item control page