Although I know it: Social anxiety is associated with a deficit in positive updating even when the cost of avoidance is Obvious

Reut Zabag, Mike Rinck, Eni Becker, Eva Gilboa-Schechtman, Einat Levy-Gigi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Social anxiety (SA) is associated with difficulties in positively updating negative social information when new information and feedback about chosen options (actual decisions) are received. However, it is unclear whether this difficulty persists when hidden information regarding unchosen options is explicitly presented. The aim of the current study was to address this gap. Participants (Mturk; n = 191) completed a two-phases novel task. In the task, participants chose to approach or avoid people, represented by images of faces. During the initial (learning) phase, participants learned, in a probabilistic context, which people are associated with negative outcomes and should be avoided, and which are associated with positive outcomes and should be approached. During the subsequent updating phase, people previously associated with negative outcomes became associated with positive outcomes and vice versa. Importantly, participants received feedback not only on their approach (actual) decisions, but also on their avoidance (counter-factual) decisions (e.g., approaching this person would have been beneficial). The results revealed that even when the consequences of avoidance were explicitly presented, SA was associated with difficulty in positive updating of social information. The findings support the view that biased updating of social information is a change-resistant mechanism that may underlie the maintenance of SA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-283
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Volume169
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023

Keywords

  • Avoidance
  • Belief updating
  • Counterfactual learning
  • Reversal-learning
  • Social anxiety

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Although I know it: Social anxiety is associated with a deficit in positive updating even when the cost of avoidance is Obvious'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this