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Two information processing biases that could maintain social anxiety were investigated. High and low socially anxious individuals encoded positive and negative trait words in one of three ways: public self-referent, private self-referent, and other-referent. Half were then told they would soon have to give a speech. As predicted, compared to low socially anxious individuals, high socially anxious individuals recalled less positive public self-referent words, but only when both groups were anticipating giving a speech. No memory biases were observed for private self-referent or other-referent words. Next all participants gave a speech. Correlational analyses suggested that high socially anxious individuals may use the somatic concomitants of anxiety to overestimate how anxious they appear and underestimate how well they come across.


Journal article


Behav Res Ther

Publication Date





419 - 434


Adult, Analysis of Variance, Anxiety, Exercise, Female, Heart Rate, Humans, Male, Memory, Personality, Self-Assessment, Semantics, Sensation, Social Behavior, Social Perception, Verbal Learning