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Acutely induced anxiety increases negative interpretations of events in a closed-circuit television monitoring task

Cooper, Robbie; Howard, Christina J.; Attwood, Angela S.; Stirland, Rachel; Rostant, Viviane; Renton, Lynne; Goodwin, Christine; Munafò, Marcus R.


Robbie Cooper

Christina J. Howard

Angela S. Attwood

Rachel Stirland

Viviane Rostant

Lynne Renton

Christine Goodwin

Marcus R. Munafò


In two experiments we measured the effects of 7.5% CO₂ inhalation on the interpretation of video footage recorded on closed circuit television (CCTV). As predicted, inhalation of 7.5% CO₂ was associated with increases in physiological and subjective correlates of anxiety compared with inhalation of medical air (placebo). Importantly, when in the 7.5% CO₂ condition, participants reported the increased presence of suspicious activity compared with placebo (Experiment 1), a finding that was replicated and extended (Experiment 2) with no concomitant increase in the reporting of the presence of positive activity. These findings support previous work on interpretative bias in anxiety but are novel in terms of how the anxiety was elicited, the nature of the interpretative bias, and the ecological validity of the task.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 12, 2012
Online Publication Date Jul 11, 2012
Publication Date 2013-02
Deposit Date Mar 13, 2014
Print ISSN 0269-9931
Electronic ISSN 1464-0600
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 27
Issue 2
Pages 273-282
Keywords Emotions, Monitoring, Response bias
Public URL