Temperament and attentional focus: Reaction time indicators of bias and cue salience

Elizabeth Spievak1, Anne Murtagh2
1Bridgewater State College, United States
2Shepherd University, United Arab Emirates
Cite this article:  Spievak, E., & Murtagh, A. (2009). Temperament and attentional focus: Reaction time indicators of bias and cue salience. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 37(3), 289-298.

Volume 37 Issue 3 | e1828 | Published: April 2009 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2009.37.3.289

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This study was designed to test and extend prior work that linked personality variables, incentive cues and target detection reaction times. Participants completed a task in which they believed they might gain or lose points, depending upon the target location and their reaction time. After each trial, participants received a randomly generated positive or negative “feedback” message. Those higher in neuroticism showed shorter reaction times on trials following positive feedback. Participants higher in neuroticism and trait anxiety and those with lower scores for self-esteem and venturesomeness were more attentive to point-loss cues. Response times were longer for those who scored higher in trait anxiety and lower in self-esteem. Implications for understanding individual differences in attention and feedback response are discussed.

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