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Hypervigilance to rejecting stimuli in rejection sensitive individuals: behavioral and neurocognitive evidence

Ehrlich, Katherine B., Gerson, Sarah, Vanderwert, Ross, Cannon, Erin N. and Fox, Nathan A. 2015. Hypervigilance to rejecting stimuli in rejection sensitive individuals: behavioral and neurocognitive evidence. Personality and Individual Differences 85 , pp. 7-12. 10.1016/j.paid.2015.04.023

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Individuals who are high in rejection sensitivity are vigilant toward social cues that signal rejection, and they exhibit attention biases towards information that confirms expectations of rejection. Little is known, however, about the neural correlates of rejection sensitivity. The present study examined whether rejection sensitivity is associated with individuals’ neural responses to rejection-relevant information. Female participants, classified as high or average in rejection sensitivity, completed a modified dot-probe task in which a neutral face was paired with either another neutral face or a gaze-averted (“rejecting”) face while EEG was collected and ERP components were computed. Behavioral results indicated that average rejection sensitive participants showed an attention bias away from rejecting faces, while high rejection sensitive participants were equally vigilant to neutral and rejecting faces. High rejection sensitivity was associated with ERP components signaling elevated attention and arousal to faces. These findings suggest that rejection sensitivity shapes behavioral and neurocognitive responses to faces.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0191-8869
Date of Acceptance: 10 April 2015
Last Modified: 21 May 2019 16:45

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