Attentional characteristics of Chinese college students receiving social threat cues in rejection situations
Main Article Content
We investigated the attentional characteristics of 98 Chinese college students when they received social threat cues in explicit and ambiguous rejection situations, and further examined the moderating effect of degree of rejection sensitivity. Participants were instructed to play an interactive game in pairs, after which they completed the Rejection Sensitivity Questionnaire for College Students and, finally, a dot-probe task. The results showed that all participants had an attentional bias toward social rejection cues in both social rejection and general situations. In the ambiguous rejection situation, highly rejection-sensitive individuals showed attentional bias and tended to avoid social threat cues and nonsocial negative cues. Degree of rejection sensitivity moderated the relationship of ambiguous rejection, influencing individuals’ attentional processing of threat cues. We sought to develop some specific interventions that could be used to alert highly rejection-sensitive college students to the characteristics of the attentional processing strategies they use for social avoidance.