We explore the human capacity for and the function(s) of meta-awareness for biased attentional processing of emotional information (MAB) subserving mental (ill) health. We do so by integrating probe-caught sampling methods, signal detection theory, and multilevel modeling of cognitive-experimental laboratory data among daily smokers (N = 75) known to exhibit biased attentional processing of reward-related (drug) cues in addiction. We found (a) evidence of the capacity for and individual differences in MAB; (b) that momentary MAB was most likely observed in the event of the most extreme micro-expressions of biased attentional processing; and (c) that momentary micro-expressions of biased attention without MAB were more likely followed by attentional dysregulation, whereas momentary micro-expressions of biased attention with MAB were more likely followed by more balanced attentional expression or greater attentional control. We discuss the implications for basic and clinical science of meta-awareness.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
A. Bernstein recognizes funding support from the Israel Science Foundation and the Caesarea-Rothschild Foundation. L. Ruimi recognizes support from the University of Haifa President’s Doctoral Fellowship Program.
© The Author(s) 2018.
- attentional bias
- cognitive control
- emotional attention
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology