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|Title:||Anxiety, anticipation, and contextual information: A test of attentional control theory|
|Keywords:||Skilled;Tennis;Perceptual-cognitive;Processing efficiency;Performance effectiveness|
|Publisher:||Taylor & Francis (Routledge)|
|Citation:||Cognition and Emotion, (2015)|
|Abstract:||We tested Attentional Control Theory’s assumptions by examining the impact of anxiety on anticipation using a dynamic, time-constrained task. Moreover, we examined the involvement of high- and low-level cognitive processes in anticipation and how their importance may interact with anxiety. Skilled and less-skilled tennis players anticipated opponents’ shots under low- and high-anxiety conditions. Three different video stimuli were presented, each presenting various degrees of contextual information. Response accuracy and mental effort ratings were collected as measures of performance effectiveness and processing efficiency respectively. Skilled players recorded higher response accuracy and lower ratings of mental effort compared to less-skilled. Ratings of mental effort significantly increased under high- when compared to low-anxiety, although no difference in response accuracy emerged. Anxiety was most detrimental to performance in the condition conveying only contextual information, suggesting that anxiety may have a greater impact on high-level (top-down) cognitive processes, potentially due to a shift in attentional control. Our findings provide partial support for Attentional Control Theory, with anxiety eliciting greater decrements in processing efficiency than performance effectiveness due to predominance of the stimulus-driven attentional system.|
|Appears in Collections:||Dept of Life Sciences Research Papers|
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