DOI: 10.14704/nq.2018.16.5.1307

ERP Studies on Attention Bias of Optimistic Individuals towards Social Information

Xiaojun Li, Shanping He, Zongkui Zhou, Zhenhong Wang


This paper attempts to clarify the impact of optimism on the distribution of attention, the attention to emotional words among optimistic students, and the exact relationship between optimism level and subliminal attention distribution. For these purposes, the author explored the subliminal attention of optimistic college students towards emotional words with the aid of the dot-probe task (DPT). The method, materials and procedure of the DPT experiment were introduced in great details, and the data on recipients’ behaviours and event-related potentials (ERPs) were analysed one by one. Through the analysis, it is concluded that individuals with different optimism levels differed in their attention distribution facing the same social information. In terms of behaviours, high-optimism recipients responded faster to positive social information than low-optimism recipients; In terms of ERPs, the high-optimism group had a much lower latency and greater effect than the low-optimism group in terms of visual N1 and linear predictive coding (LPC). The above results jointly suggest that individuals with high-optimism are more alert to positive social information than those with low-optimism. The research findings lay a solid basis for similar studies on attention bias and ERPs.


Optimism, Attention Bias, Event-Related Potential (ERP), Social Information, Dot-Probe Task (DPT)

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