Construction and validation of pictorial «dot probe» task using emotional faces as stimuli



  Introduction: Application of psychophysical tasks in evaluation of selective attention at secondary mental performance among patients and normal subjects is a widely accepted technique especially in the field of neuropsychology. Dot-probe task is one of the measures of selective attention both in depression and anxiety disorders. This task originally used words as stimuli, which has limitations due to linguistic and cultural restrains. The current study carried out to develop a modified version of this task, replacing words with emotional faces and examine the validity and reliability of the task.   Method: A modified version of dot-probe validity and reliability was examined in a sample consisted from 40 adult healthy subjects.   Results: Acquired data revealed the validity of pictorial stimuli and reliability of subjects' answers to pictorial stimuli. In addition, selective attention scores were not found correlated with the educational level and subjects' gender that indicates the independency of the task evaluation of selective attention from demographic characteristics. Conclusion: The designed task is valid enough for initiating cross-cultural studies and is suggested to researchers for this type of research.