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date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews work that has sought to examine how biased patterns of attentional responding to affectively valenced information can contribute to variability in both emotional and situational well-being. It begins by critically appraising the cognitive–experimental procedures that have most commonly been employed to assess such attentional bias. Next, the chapter considers findings from research that have employed these assessment approaches to investigate how individual differences in attentional bias toward either negatively toned or positively toned affective information may contribute to variability in emotional disposition. The chapter then discusses research that has examined how the selective processing of aversive information concerning prospective threat and selective attentional responding to positively toned appetitive stimulus information may impact the prospect of engaging in behaviors that have the capacity to enhance or impair situational well-being. In doing so, this chapter highlights the possibility that these types of attentional biases may directly contribute to dissociation between emotional and situational well-being, either by evoking negative emotion while also increasing the prospect of adaptive behavior or by evoking positive emotion while increasing the prospect of maladaptive behavior.

Keywords: attentional bias, emotional well-being, situational well-being, positive affect, negative affect, affectively toned information, appetitive stimuli, positive emotional disposition, negative emotional disposition

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