Interpersonal relations are markedly impaired in social anxiety. Yet, little is known about the ways social anxiety affects social cognition. We examined impression formation and impression revision among individuals with social anxiety disorder (SAD, n= 26) and non-anxious individuals (n=29). Participants read initial descriptions of protagonists depicted as dominant, neutral or submissive and rated them on social rank and affiliation dimensions. Next, participants were presented with behavioral acts that were either congruent, incongruent or irrelevant to the initial descriptions, and re-rated the protagonists. Individuals with SAD (a) rated others as more extreme on social rank dimension, (b) rated others as lower on the affiliation dimension, and (c) revised their impressions of others to a greater extent than did the non-anxious individuals. Understanding the ways social anxiety affects the formation and revision of perceptions of others can improve our understanding of maintaining processes in SAD.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Israeli Science Foundation , grant 455-10 awarded to Eva Gilboa-Schechtman.
- Cognitive biases
- Impression formation
- Social anxiety disorder
- Social rank