We tested the idea that in high trait-anxiety, behavioural responses are influenced by spatial correspondence to emotional information. It is suggested that if an emotional stimulus is preferentially processed, it may act as if presented alone and yield a Simon effect: faster responses when stimulus and response spatially correspond than when not. High-trait-anxious undergraduates indeed showed a content-specific Simon effect for social-threat (not physical-threat) words that were presented together with a neutral word for 14 ms; they showed the reverse response pattern for positive words. Low-anxious undergraduates had no bias. When presentation time was lengthened to 500 ms, the response pattern for social-threat and positive words shown by high-anxious undergraduates reversed as compared to the pattern with 14 ms, but there were no significant group differences. These results can be taken to suggest that in high trait-anxiety, the processing of social-threat is specifically prioritized; social-threat and positive information may elicit an immediate response, counteracted by mood-regulation strategies. We argue that the present approach opens up interesting avenues for investigating biased information processing and response tendencies. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.