Attention bias in test anxiety: The impact of a test-threat congruent situation, presentation time, and approach-avoidance temperament

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


External organisations

  • Liverpool John Moores University


Previous studies have shown that test anxiety is related to attention bias. It is not clear, however, whether a congruent test-threat manipulation is required to elicit this bias or whether the bias is a result of automatic or conscious processes. In the present study we used a mood induction procedure to examine attention bias in test anxious persons using a dot-probe task and incorporated approach-avoidance temperament as a possible moderator. Results showed that the mood induction procedure was not effective in manipulating state anxiety. In the absence of an effective test-threat manipulation, high test anxious persons showed attention bias towards supraliminal threat stimuli. Attention bias was only shown to subliminal threat stimuli in high test anxious persons with a strong approach temperament. This suggests that the mechanism for attention bias to threat stimuli in high test anxious persons is a result of both automatic and conscious processes.


Original languageEnglish
JournalEducational Psychology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 7 Mar 2020