This study explored attention and interpretation biases in processing facial expressions as correlates of theoretically distinct self-reported anger experience, expression, and control. Non-selected undergraduate students (N = 101) completed cognitive tasks measuring attention bias, interpretation bias, and Spielberger’s State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory (STAXI-2). Attention bias toward angry faces was associated with higher trait anger and anger expression and with lower anger control-in and anger control-out. The propensity to quickly interpret ambiguous faces as angry was associated with greater anger expression and its subcomponent of anger expression-out and with lower anger control-out. Interactions between attention and interpretation biases did not contribute to the prediction of any anger component suggesting that attention and interpretation biases may function as distinct mechanisms. Theoretical and possible clinical implications are discussed.
- cognitive bias