The Effect of Training with Music on Happiness Recognition in Social Anxiety Disorder
Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment | Uitgave 4/2012Log in om toegang te krijgen
The process of emotion recognition is thought to be negatively biased in social anxiety disorder (SAD). Ways to change this bias are needed. Forty one individuals afflicted with moderate SAD and 39 healthy controls were recruited to participate in this study. All subjects performed a vocal improvisation recognition task and half of them underwent training in happiness recognition in musical improvisations. The four groups (trained SAD, untrained SAD, trained controls and untrained controls) were then compared in terms of the extent of precise identification of one of five basic emotions (happiness, fear, anger, sadness and surprise) in spoken language. Subjects with SAD demonstrated less accurate identification of happiness in spoken language as compared to the healthy controls. However, subjects with SAD trained to recognize happiness demonstrated an improved ability to identify happiness in spoken language (in a female’s voice), similarly to that of the healthy controls. Our findings demonstrate that a brief training in happiness recognition improves the ability of individuals with SAD to recognize happiness in spoken language. Additional studies are needed to support and refine our intervention and to examine its impact on individuals with SAD over longer periods of time.