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Investigating occupational stress utilising the dot probe task to elicit attentional bias in food retail employees

Tendyra, Pete (2011) Investigating occupational stress utilising the dot probe task to elicit attentional bias in food retail employees. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Research continually demonstrates anxious individuals hold an attentional bias towards threatening stimuli. This study aimed, in a new application of the dot probe paradigm, to investigate attentional bias for occupational stress in a retail setting. Opportunity sampling was used to select 48 colleagues from food retail companies. Each completed a word dot probe task containing occupational stress related (OSR) and neutral words before completing an occupational stress questionnaire to divide them in to higher or lower stress groups. Attentional bias was found in the higher stress group when the probe appeared in a position congruent to the OSR word, t(22)=2.79, p=.011. This shows that the higher stressed individuals reacted significantly faster in terms of their reaction to the location of the probe when it appeared congruent to an OSR word. No other significant effects were found. Future research should aim to refine dot probe methodology in order to continually develop this as an objective measure of occupational stress.

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