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Gepubliceerd in: Cognitive Therapy and Research 1/2016

28-08-2015 | Brief Report

Social Anxiety and Empathy for Social Pain

Auteurs: Karen W. Auyeung, Lynn E. Alden

Gepubliceerd in: Cognitive Therapy and Research | Uitgave 1/2016

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Abstract

We examined whether dispositional social anxiety influenced empathy for individuals who experience aversive social events. Participants (N = 121) were randomly assigned to an experimental condition designed to increase state anxiety via social threat or to a control condition. They then observed videos of target individuals discussing high school events in which they were either socially included or excluded. Both participants and targets rated the emotions the targets felt when discussing those situations. Hierarchical linear modeling revealed that social anxiety was associated with greater accuracy for targets’ negative social emotions but only under conditions of social threat. These results suggest that individual differences in social anxiety may influence empathic accuracy for others’ social pain.

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Voetnoten
1
The significant main effect of social anxiety indicated that social anxiety predicted greater NA accuracy, suggesting that overall, individuals with higher levels of social anxiety were more accurate at rating targets’ negative affect. While interesting, this main effect was qualified by the three-way interaction.
 
2
Analyses were also conducted using a discrepancy variable (i.e., the directional difference between participant and target ratings), where negative scores indicate that participants underestimated targets’ negative affect and positive scores indicate that participants overestimated. There was a significant two-way interaction within the exclusion videos, b = -.07, t = 2.38, p = .02. Follow-up analyses revealed that the slope of social anxiety was only significant within the experimental condition, b = .05, t = 2.28, p = .02. On average, individuals with low social anxiety underestimated target affect (M = -6.26, SD = 11.99) more than individuals with high social anxiety (M = −2.92, SD = 10.62).
 
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Metagegevens
Titel
Social Anxiety and Empathy for Social Pain
Auteurs
Karen W. Auyeung
Lynn E. Alden
Publicatiedatum
28-08-2015
Uitgeverij
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Cognitive Therapy and Research / Uitgave 1/2016
Print ISSN: 0147-5916
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-2819
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10608-015-9718-0