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Cognitive bias refers to a pattern of selectively processing emotional information in one’s environment. Cognitive biases have been observed across many forms of psychopathology including obsessive-compulsive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, and anger. However, the majority of cognitive bias research has focused on anxiety and depressive disorders. In addition to being correlates of psychopathology, cognitive biases may also be involved in the maintenance and etiology of psychopathology, with some research suggesting that experimental manipulation of these biases leads to reduction in symptoms. Within cognitive psychology, cognitive biases are most commonly discussed in three domains: (1) attention, (2) interpretation, and (3) memory. This entry summarizes each of these domains as well as their relevance to mental health disorders.

Attentional Bias

Attentional bias refers to ...

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