Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Corr I 408
Attentional Control/cognitive psychology/Eysenck/Matthews: the resource metaphor may apply best to the specific neural and cognitive operations of the frontal supervisory executive system. Like other attentional systems, executive operations may be fractionated into more specific processes, including inhibition of strong but inappropriate responses, shifting between different processing operations, and updating the contents of working memory. Attentional control theory (Eysenck, Derakshan, Santos and Calvo 2007)(1) seeks to relate anxiety not to the potentially nebulous resource construct but to these specific operations. Anxiety relates to weaker executive inhibition, evidenced in part by vulnerability to distraction, and also to difficulties in shifting between alternate task sets.
In addition to effects of anxiety on executive control of attention, Eysenck et al. (2007)(1) also propose that anxiety increases the influence of stimulus-driven processes, such as involuntary attention to threat. This effect of anxiety is relevant to effects on selective attention, discussed below. Also, Eysenck et al. (2007)(1) point out that anxiety effects on performance are moderated by strategy use.



1. Eysenck, M. W., Derakshan, N., Santos, R. and Calvo, M. G. 2007. Anxiety and cognitive performance: attentional control theory, Emotion 7: 336–53


Gerald Matthews, „ Personality and performance: cognitive processes and models“, in: Corr, Ph. J. & Matthews, G. (eds.) 2009. The Cambridge handbook of Personality Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Cognitive Psychology
Corr I
Philip J. Corr
Gerald Matthews
The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology New York 2009


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2019-08-22
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