Grisham, JR and King, BJ and Makkar, SR and Felmingham, KL, The contributions of arousal and selffocused attention to avoidance in social anxiety, Anxiety, Stress and Coping, 28, (3) pp. 303-320. ISSN 1061-5806 (2014) [Refereed Article]
Copyright 2014 Taylor & Francis
Background: Socially anxious individuals are theorized to avoid social cues and engage in safety behaviors to prevent negative evaluation, which prevents disconfirmation of social fears. Cognitive models propose that this avoidance is driven by (1) self-focused attention (SFA) and (2) physiological arousal.
Design: To examine these proposed mechanisms, we compared high socially anxious (HSA; n =29) and low socially anxious (LSA; n = 28) participants on a view-time task involving faces.
Method: Participants engaged in a task in which they viewed socially threatening (i.e., disgust, anger) and nonthreatening (i.e., happy, neutral) faces.
Results: Results revealed that HSA participants endorsed greater SFA during the view-time task and spent less time viewing angry, disgusted, and neutral facial expressions relative to LSA participants. Regression analyses revealed that arousal, as indexed by salivary α-amylase, was a unique predictor of increased face-viewing time among HSA participants. In contrast, arousal predicted decreased face-viewing time among LSA participants.
Conclusions: Findings underscore the need for further investigation of avoidance mechanisms in social anxiety.
|Item Type:||Refereed Article|
|Keywords:||social anxiety, salivary alpha amylase, avoidance, arousal, self-focused attention|
|Research Division:||Psychology and Cognitive Sciences|
|Research Field:||Biological Psychology (Neuropsychology, Psychopharmacology, Physiological Psychology)|
|Objective Group:||Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions)|
|Objective Field:||Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) not elsewhere classified|
|UTAS Author:||Felmingham, KL (Professor Kim Felmingham)|
|Web of Science® Times Cited:||7|
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