Psychology Colloquium: Dr Jemma Todd (School of Psychology – University of Sydney)
School of Psychology, University of Sydney
Title: Cognitive biases in pain and health: A dynamic perspective
Abstract: It is important to attend to potential threat in the face of danger: doing so may save your life. However, there are plenty of instances when our cognitive bias system can go awry. Individuals with chronic pain often continue to interpret pain as threatening, with the pain capturing their attention to the detriment of other life goals and despite no ongoing danger. Whilst research has come far in identifying unhelpful cognitive biases, the measures typically used do not adequately account for the dynamic nature of these biases. These biases can be adaptive or unhelpful depending on the circumstance, and are likely to shift with motivation, context, and threat perception. In this presentation, I will explore the challenges of assessing cognitive biases. I will draw on my recent research in pain and other areas such as diabetes and anxiety, to highlight some directions forward in the field of cognitive bias research.