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Portions of this research were presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Philadelphia, PA, November, 2014. Consent was obtained from all participants, and the study protocol was approved by the Institutional Review Board of Temple University.
Previous research suggests that individuals with high levels of social anxiety (SA) tend to make negative interpretations of ambiguous social situations but fail to make positive interpretations of such situations. These biases have been shown to occur at both faster (more immediate) and slower (more reflective) levels of processing. Fears of evaluation may play a role in the tendency of individuals with SA to exhibit interpretation biases. As an extension of previous research, we examined the unique variance accounted for by fear of negative evaluation (FNE) and fear of positive evaluation (FPE) in the relationship between SA and interpretation biases, using a paradigm that collected both reaction time and self-report data. FPE accounted for significant variance in the relationship between SA and negative interpretation bias at a faster level of processing (reaction time measure). However, neither FNE nor FPE accounted for significant variance in the relationship between SA and negative interpretation bias at a slower level of processing (self-report measure). Our findings suggest that FPE may play an important role in biased interpretations during more immediate processing, whereas SA may be broadly influential for biased interpretations during more reflective processing.
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- Examining the Relationships Among Social Anxiety, Fears of Evaluation, and Interpretation Bias
M. Taylor Dryman
Richard G. Heimberg
- Springer US