Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Several cognitive models propose that social anxiety is associated with increased self-focused attention. Indirect evidence for this hypothesis has been provided by questionnaire studies, and by cognitive psychology paradigms that have demonstrated reduced processing of external information during feared social-evaluative situations. However, no studies have simultaneously measured on-line attention to internal and external events. A probe detection task that aimed to measure the balance of attention between internal and external stimuli was developed. High and low socially anxious individuals were instructed to detect two probes. The external probe was superimposed on pictures of faces (happy, neutral, angry) or household objects that were presented on a VDU. The 'internal' probe was a pulse to the finger which participants were led to believe represented significant changes in their physiology. Compared to low speech anxious individuals, high speech anxious individuals showed an internal attentional bias, that was specific to conditions of social-evaluative threat.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Behav Res Ther

Publication Date

05/2003

Volume

41

Pages

555 - 572

Keywords

Adult, Analysis of Variance, Attention, Cues, Humans, Phobic Disorders, Psychological Tests, Self Concept, Speech, Video Recording