Attentional bias

What we believe/want influences what we focus on/notice. Eg. people addicted to smoking are more attentive to smoking cues.


On a scientific level, attentional bias often seen in eye-tracking movements is thought to be an underlying issue of addiction. Some argue that threat-related material(eg. Weapon Focus) is always favoured in cognitive thinking while others say that humans are prone to attentional biases at certain points of information processing.


Failure to consider alternative possibilities when occupied with an existing train of thought. When making decisions, attentional biases toward positive stimuli have been associated with numerous positive outcomes, such as increased social engagement, increased prosocial behaviour, decreased externalizing disorders, and decreased emotionally withdrawn behaviour. In contrast, individuals with clinically relevant symptoms, such as anxiety disorder and chronic pain are shown to prioritize threat cues over reward cues.