Death anxiety and visual oculomotor processing of arousing stimuli in a free view setting
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionScandinavian Journal of Psychology. 2017, 58 (2), 131-141. 10.1111/sjop.12354
The main goal of this study was to determine how death anxiety (DA) affects visual processing when confronted with arousing stimuli. A total of 26 males and females were primed with either DA or a neutral primer and were given a free view/free choice task where eye movement was measured using an eye tracker. The goal was to identify measurable/observable indicators of whether the subjects were under the influence of DA during the free view. We conducted an eye tracking study because this is an area where we believe it is possible to find observable indicators. Ultimately, we observed some changes in the visual behavior, such as a prolonged average latency, altered sensitivity to the repetition of stimuli, longer fixations, less time in saccadic activity, and fewer classifications related to focal and ambient processing, which appear to occur under the influence of DA when the subjects are confronted with arousing stimuli.