Affect intensity and gender differences in the functioning of attentional networks in university students: Research Data
Affect intensity (AI) refers to individual differences in the intensity with which people subjectively experience emotions. High AI is an aspect of emotion dysregulation that is present in a variety of mood and anxiety disorders. The present study evaluates the functioning of attentional networks (alerting, orienting, and executive control) for non-emotional stimuli in healthy subjects classified as having High (H-AI) and Low (L-AI) AI levels through clustering methods. A sample of 200 university students (100 women), aged between 18 and 25 years old, completed the Affect Intensity Measure and the Attentional Network Test (ANT). Women obtained higher AI scores than men and were more highly represented in the H-AI cluster. In ANT, mean response time was significantly shorter in men than in women, but men showed a worse functioning of the alerting network than women (which was not observed for the executive control and orienting networks). In addition, H-AI men exhibited a more efficient executive control network than L-AI men. Executive control was negatively correlated with AI in men, but not in women. The research data is available in this contribution for future research, linked to the publication in the journal "Personality and Individual Differences" (Merchán, Ruiz-Castañeda & Daza, 2021).