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Manipulation of focus of attention and its effects on anxiety in high-anxious individuals and repressors

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Abstract

There were four groups of participants: low-anxious (low anxiety-low defensiveness), repressors (low anxiety-high defensiveness), high-anxious (high anxiety-low defensiveness), and defensive high-anxious (high anxiety-high defensiveness). They were exposed to self-focus and other-focus conditions, and self-report, physiological, and behavioural measures of anxiety were recorded. The focus manipulation (self vs. other) was effective, with all four groups having higher self-reported anxiety in the self-focus condition. It was found that self-focused attention accounted for a significant amount of variation in self-reported anxiety. The findings were discussed within the theoretical framework proposed by Eysenck (1997).

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... Self-report, physiological, and behavioural measures As we have seen, it has often been assumed (e.g., Eysenck, 1997;Weinberger, 1990) that repressors have a discrepant pattern of responding in stressful situations, with low self-reported anxiety but high levels of physiological and behavioural activity indicative of anxiety. Support for this claim has been obtained using various physiological measures (e.g., Asendorpf & Scherer, 1983;Barger, Kircher, & Croyle, 1997;Brosschot & Janssen, 1998;Brown et al., 1996;, 2001a, 2001bJamner & Schwartz, 1986;Newton & Contrada, 1992; see Schwerdtfeger & Kohlmann, 2004, for a review) and various behavioural measures (e.g., Fox, O'Boyle, Barry, & McCreary, 1989;Harrigan, Suarez, & Hartman, 1994;and Lambie & Baker, 2003;Pauls & Stemmler, 2003). Thus, there appears to be substantial empirical support for the predicted discrepancies across response domains. ...
... It is assumed that repressors' use of avoidant attentional and interpretive biases applied to internal sources of information is of major importance in allowing them to experience low levels of anxiety in spite of having high levels of anxiety at the behavioural and physiological levels. Nearly all the research carried out so far has focused on external sources of information, although a few studies have focused on internal sources (e.g., , 2001aLambie & Baker, 2003). ...
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A vigilance–avoidance theory of the repressive coping style (low trait anxiety and high defensiveness) is presented. The new theory attempts to account for several key findings, including the discrepancy between low self-reported anxiety and high behavioural and physiological indicators of anxiety shown by individuals with a repressive coping style. According to the theory, repressors have an initial rapid vigilant response triggering behavioural and physiological responses and involving attentional and interpretive biases to self-relevant threat stimuli. These biases may be based on negative self-relevant schematic information. This initial vigilant stage is followed by an avoidance stage involving avoidant cognitive biases (attentional, interpretive, and memory) that inhibit the conscious experience of anxiety. Future research should examine systematically the time course of repressors’ reactions to threatening and non-threatening stimuli.
... They identified four groups according to their coping styles: Repressors (low anxiety-high defensiveness, REP), low anxious (low anxiety-low defensiveness, LA), high anxious (high anxiety-low defensiveness, HA), and defensive high anxious (high anxiety-high defensiveness, DHA). Under stressful conditions, repressors report low levels of distress but are physiologically and behaviourally very reactive (e.g., Asendorpf & Scherer, 1983;Benjamins, Schuurs, & Hoogstraten, 1994;, 1999, 2001a, 2002bWeinberger et al., 1979). ...
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Using a directed forgetting task, we tested the hypothesis that repressors would be superior to nonrepressors in forgetting negative experimental material. Consistent with previous studies, there was an overall directed forgetting effect, with significantly more to‐be‐remembered (TBR) material recalled than to‐be‐forgotten material (TBF). As predicted, there were no recall differences for negative words in a control condition without the instruction to forget. Repressors compared to nonrepressors forgot more negatively valenced words in the TBF set only in a private condition where they had to rate words for self‐descriptiveness but not for other‐descriptiveness and not in the public condition. These results suggest that repressors have an enhanced capability for employing retrieval inhibition in certain conditions (e.g., private conditions), but not public conditions when under evaluation. The results support the notion of repressors as self‐deceivers rather than impression managers.
... The seminal Weinberger et al. (1979) study and numerous later studies found that repressors dissociate their somatic reactions from their perceptions of distress, with repressors, in potentially stressful situations, reporting low levels of distress and anxiety but exhibiting high levels of physiological activity (Asendorpf & Scherer, 1983;Barger, Kircher, & Croyle, 1997;Benjamins, Schuurs, & Hoogtraten, 1994;, 2001a, 2001bGudjonsson, 1981;Jamner & Schwartz, 1986;Lambie & Baker, 2003;Newton & Contrada, 1992;Pauls & Stemmler, 2003). Control groups typically exhibit different patterns of responses, with high-anxious participants exhibiting the opposite pattern of response to repressors and lowanxious participants reporting similar low levels of distress to repressors but without high levels of physiological arousal. ...
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During the last three decades there has been substantial research exploring the repressive coping style as defined by Weinberger, Schwartz, and Davidson. As "repressors," who score low on trait anxiety and high on defensiveness, account for up to 50% of certain populations, they are an essential group for psychologists to study. However, there are methodological issues in identifying repressors as well as considerable evidence that repressors avoid negative self-relevant information. Possible methods of addressing these difficulties are discussed in this review. Importantly, there is a body of evidence linking repressive coping and poor physical health, including heart disease and cancer. However, some preliminary findings suggest that repressors compared to non-repressors may be better at health behaviors that they perceive as under their personal control. This needs more extensive investigation as such behaviors are only one aspect of health and other factors may contribute to repressors' poor physical health. Possible future directions of research are discussed including: the need for systematic empirical research of a new theory of repressive coping--the Vigilance-Avoidance Theory--more longitudinal health studies, and an in-depth exploration of the physiological mechanisms which may underlie repressive coping.
... Such a cognitive bias to attend to internal threat-related stimuli is suggested as a vulnerability factor in trait anxiety (Calvo & Cano-Vindel, 1997). In line with the accumulation of research relating self-focused attention to anxiety (Carver & Scheier, 1988;Derakshan & Eysenck, 2001;Liao & Masters, 2002;Schwarzer & Jerusalem, 1992;Wicklund, 1991), the three-dimensional model included self-focused attention to expand the scope of the cognitive dimension. ...
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We tested the predictive validity of the recently validated three-dimensional model of performance anxiety (Chang, Hardy, & Markland, 2009) with elite tae-kwon-do competitors (N = 99). This conceptual framework emphasized the adaptive potential of anxiety by including a regulatory dimension (reflected by perceived control) along with the intensity-oriented dimensions of cognitive and physiological anxiety. Anxiety was assessed 30 min before a competitive contest using the Three-Factor Anxiety Inventory. Competitors rated their performance on a tae-kwon-do-specific performance scale within 30 min after completion of their contest. Moderated hierarchical regression analyses revealed initial support for the predictive validity of the three-dimensional performance anxiety model. The regulatory dimension of anxiety (perceived control) revealed significant main and interactive effects on performance. This dimension appeared to be adaptive, as performance was better under high than low perceived control, and best vs. worst performance was associated with highest vs. lowest perceived control, respectively. Results are discussed in terms of the importance of the regulatory dimension of anxiety.
... The lack of concordance between the physiological and self-report measures of anxiety in repressors is a very robust finding that has been widely replicated in males and females, student, patient and general population samples using various physiological and neuropsychological measures (e.g. Asendorpf & Scherer, 1983;Barger et al., 1997;Brody et al., 2000;Derakshan & Eysenck, 1997;2001a, 2001bNewton & Contrada, 1992). ...
Article
Lung function, adherence and denial were explored in asthma patients who possess a repressive coping style (repressors). Repressors (low trait anxiety, high defensiveness) and non-repressors were identified by their trait anxiety and defensiveness scores. Participants completed measures of self-reported adherence, denial, morbidity and demographic data. A lung function measure (FEV(1)) was obtained for a subset of patients. Repressors, who comprised 33% of the sample, had significantly worse lung function but scored significantly higher on self-reported adherence, compared to non-repressors. Age was positively correlated with adherence. Although repressive coping was positively correlated with denial, denial was significantly correlated with defensiveness but not trait anxiety. The study provides evidence that repressors are an important group to identify in future studies of asthma.
... A replication of the study using a higher number of candidates is required to substantiate our findings. A larger pool of participants would also enable other trait variables to be explored ; for instance, to study whether personality variables such as defensiveness and anxiety influence successful/unsuccessful rates during the formal driving test (Derakshan & Eysenck, 2001). It would also be useful to extend the period of data collection to investigate how patterns of anxiety are modulated during future driving tests for failed candidates. ...
Article
Test anxiety may degrade the quality of human performance when tasks are complex and demanding. This study was concerned with the influence of test anxiety on driving performance during the British practical driving test. Thirteen candidates participated in three sessions: (a) a normal driving lesson, (b) a mock driving test, and (c) UK Department of Transport official driving test. Anxiety was measured via psychophysiology (heart rate) and subjective self-report (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory). The results indicated that state anxiety increased in accordance with the formality of evaluative scenario. Those who failed the formal driving test exhibited significantly greater increases in heart rate and state anxiety during this test than the successful candidates. These differences were not apparent during baseline conditions or the mock-driving test. The implications of the study are discussed with reference to test anxiety and consequences for driver training and testing.
... Such discrepancies have been widely investigated in the literature and have been reliably found in many populations using various physiological and behavioural measures (see e.g. Asendorpf & Scherer, 1983;Barger, Kircher, & Croyle, 1997;Derakshan & Eysenck, 1997, 2001a, 2001bNewton & Contrada, 1992; for review see Myers, 2000). Findings of this kind have been particularly pronounced in situations where social evaluation, and threat to self-esteem, has been maximised (e.g., Barger, Kircher, & Croyle, 1997;Derakshan & Eysenck, 1997;Newton & Contrada, 1992) and repressors have been defined as individuals who avoid negative affect (Myers, 2000;Weinberger, 1990). ...
Article
High and low defensive individuals engaged in attempted thought suppression and non-suppression after viewing an emotionally stressful piece of film. As a function of suppression and non-suppression instructions, high and low defensive individuals differed from each other in the number of reported film-related thoughts. Suppression instructions had greatest effects on low defensive individuals in reducing the number of reported film-related thoughts. The effects of suppression instructions were not significant in reducing the number of film-related thoughts for high defensive individuals. High defensive individuals also reported more neutral thoughts under the suppression condition compared with the non-suppression condition. Low defensive individuals reported similar numbers of neutral thoughts under the two conditions. Effects of suppression instructions were investigated in a subsequent cognitive task that measured the level of interference produced by attempted suppression. Suppression instructions did not significantly effect the cognitive processing of participants. Theoretical and methodological implications for understanding the possible cognitive structures underlying attempted suppression are discussed in terms of the effects of defensiveness. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
... Ironically, the Control group women most commonly reported a repressive coping style. The majority of women with FVD reported a high-anxious coping style operationally defi ned by Derakshan & Eysenck (2001) as a tendency to interpret their own behaviour as being more anxious than it really is, a capacity to identify their distress, and an emotional rather than rational approach to solving problems. ...
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This study aimed to explore psychosocial factors contributing to the development of functional voice disorders (FVD) and those differentiating between organic voice disorders (OVD) and a non-voice-disordered control group. A case-control study was undertaken of 194 women aged 18-80 years diagnosed with FVD (n = 73), OVD (n = 55), and controls (n = 66). FVD women were allocated into psychogenic voice disorder (PVD) (n = 37) and muscle tension voice disorder (MTVD) (n = 36) for sub-group analysis. Dependent variables included biographical and voice assessment data, the number and severity of life events and difficulties and conflict over speaking out (COSO) situations derived from the Life Events and Difficulties Schedule (LEDS), and psychological traits including emotional expressiveness scales. Four psychosocial components differentiated between the FVD and control group accounting for 84.9% of the variance: severe events, moderate events, severe COSO, and mild COSO difficulties. Severe events, severe and mild COSO difficulties differentiated between FVD and OVD groups, accounting for 80.5% of the variance. Moderate events differentiated between PVD and MTVD sub-groups, accounting for 58.9% of the variance. Psychological traits did not differentiate between groups. Stressful life events and COSO situations best differentiated FVD from OVD and control groups. More refined aetiological studies are needed to differentiate between PVD and MTVD.
... Studies in adults yielded acceptable internal consistencies (self-focused scale: Cronbach's α = .76-.83, external-focused scale: .72-75; Derakshan & Eysenck, 2001;Woody, Chambless, & Glass, 1997). Hodson et al. (2008) showed that the questionnaire is applicable to youths. ...
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Clark and Wells's (1995) cognitive model of social phobia has been extensively evaluated in adults. However, very little data is available on the applicability to social anxiety in adolescence. This study examines the model's applicability in a large adolescent sample. 581 students (aged 14-20) completed questionnaires assessing social anxiety, depression, and variables of the cognitive model (namely safety behaviors, negative social cognitions and social attitudes, self-focused attention, recurrent self-images, pre- and post-event processing). The results revealed that high and low socially anxious youths differed significantly on all cognitive variables. Sequential regression analysis indicated that social attitudes, social cognitions, safety behaviors, and self-imagery were predictive for social anxiety, after controlling for depression and gender. Additionally, a path analysis model examining the relationships between the cognitive variables supported the model's applicability, yielding differential moderating effects of gender. The cognitive model is at least partly applicable to adolescent social anxiety and it might be useful to develop a cognitive treatment for this population.
... Así, si la atribución es interna las personas desarrollarán las acciones pertinentes que les conduzcan a lograr lo deseado, mientras que, si se realiza una atribución externa, será más fácil que disminuya el interés y se abandone un objetivo. Por otra parte, el peso que tenga cada una de las dimensiones formuladas por Weiner (personales o ambientales) repercutirá, a su vez, tanto en el desarrollo Por otra parte, como en cualquier situación que implica una evaluación, el examen aca- Eysenck, 2001;Gómez, Carpi, Guerrero y Palmero, 2006;Ekman y Shean, 1997;Meijer, 2001;Rohrmann, Netter, Hennig y Hodapp, 2003;Shwarzwzer y Buchwald, 2003). ...
... Non-repressors do not show these discrepancies (e.g. Asendorpf & Scheerer, 1983; Derakshan & Eysenck, 2001). ...
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The present study was conducted to test the hypothesis that the increased psychological well-being and positivity effect in old age can be related to a high prevalence of repressive coping in healthy older adults. Both older (mean age 73) and younger (mean age 20) adults completed a range of indices measuring psychopathology and repressive coping. Results showed that older adults scored lower than younger adults on almost all indices of psychopathology, and were more likely to be classed as repressive copers than younger adults (41% versus 11%, respectively). Furthermore, when the repressive copers and borderline repressors were removed from both samples, age effects on several, but not all, measures of psychopathology disappeared, indicating that even older non-repressors showed better mental health than young non-repressors. Possible mechanisms of increased positivity, in terms of repressive coping and reductions in intrusive thoughts and rumination in old age, are discussed.
... Less defensive personality attributes internally are benign for supportive communication and would result better customer satisfaction. Similar study was reported by several authors (Barger, Kircher and Croyle, 1997;Derakshan and Eysenck, 2001a;Myers, 2000) that high defensive individuals (and in particular repressors) under high stress conditions showed high levels of autonomic reactivity while reporting low levels of anxiety and negative affect. Such discrepancies have been widely investigated in the literature and have been reliably found in many populations using various physiological and behavioral measures. ...
Article
In the accepted age of the “knowledge or information worker,” information exchange and communication clarity are essential in the coordination of effort and control of organizational processes. Indeed, some researchers have reported that the bedrock of the effective implementation of any quality initiative (QI) within an organization involves the redefinition of both traditional boundaries and the communications channels that exist within an organization. The present research investigates various antecedents of supportive communication affecting customer satisfaction within employees. Result showed significant difference between managerial (MEs) and non-managerial (NMEs) employees in all the variables irrespective of active listening and defensiveness. The study reveals that MEs underscore on humanized leadership, teamwork, recognition vis-a-vis to NMEs to augment the level of customer satisfaction. Findings indicate that MEs are more assertive about long term implications of supportive communication than NMEs. The research also discloses NMEs’ reluctance about supportive communication rather they are more interested in outright rewards and productivity. The findings recommend that incorporating these dimensions may render service organization with the potent to enhance customer satisfaction significantly.
... np. Asendorph, Scherer 1983;Derakshan, Eysenck 1997, 2001a, 2001b. Niektórzy badacze (Weinberger, Davidson 1994) zakładają, że osoby wypierające posługują się obronną strategią samooszukiwania, dlatego relacjonują tak niskie przeżywanie negatywnych emocji w porównaniu z poziomem ich fizjologicznego i ekspresyjnego pobudzenia. ...
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Celem opisanego badania było sprawdzenie, czy lęk ujmowany jako wymiar osobowości oraz doświadczany strach wpływają na postrzeganie siebie w zakresie cech lubianych i nielubianych. W badaniu przesiewowym wzięło udział 570 studentów, z których wyłoniono 90 kobiet zakwalifikowanych do jednej z trzech grup: osób niskolękowych (n = 30), wysokolękowych (n = 30) i wypierających (n = 30), wyróżnionych w koncepcji D.A. Weinbergera, G.E. Schwartza i R.J. Davidsona. Zadanie badawcze, którego celem było wzbudzenie lęku, polegało na wygłoszeniu kilkuminutowego przemówienia przed audytorium ekspertów i kamerą na temat lubianych i nielubianych cech osobowości. Oprócz metod kwestionariuszowych zastosowano zobiektywizowaną metodę pomiaru ekspresji mimicznej emocji-System Kodowania Ruchów Twarzy FACS (P. Ekman) oraz listę 300 cech autorstwa A.E. Abele i B. Wojciszke, dla których zostały oszacowane następujące parametry semantyczne: sprawczość, wspólnotowość, kompetencja, moralność, indywidualizm, kolektywizm, kobiecość i męskość. Badanie m.in. ujawniło, że osoby wypierające lubią w sobie cechy charakteryzujące się wyższym wskaźnikiem moralności w porównaniu do osób prawdziwie niskolękowych. Cecha lęku pozytywnie korelowała ze wspólnotowością, moralnością i kobiecością. Doświadczany strach negatywnie korelował m.in. ze sprawczością, kompetencją, męskością, indywidualizmem, a pozytywnie - z kobiecością.
... The next group consists of people classified as repressors, who score low on trait anxiety and high on defensiveness. The results of studies in this area show that repressors have little tendency to experience anxiety consciously (during a stressful task), but at the same time exhibit a high level of anxiety through physiological and behavioral indicators (e.g., Asendorph & Scherer, 1983;Derakshan & Eysenck, 1997a, 1997b, 2001a, 2001b. Some researchers (Weinberger & Davidson, 1994) assume that repressors report experiencing a substantially lower intensity of emotions as compared to the level of their physiological and expressive arousal because they apply defensive self-deception strategies and are deeply convinced that they are not inclined to experience anxiety and other negative emotions. ...
... Another group is individuals using repression (repressors) who score low on the anxiety trait scale and high on social desirability scales (defensiveness). They show a low inclination to consciously experience anxiety during a distressing task, but simultaneously display high anxiety through physiological and behavioural indicators (Asendorph & Scherer, 1983;Derakshan & Eysenck, 1997, 2001a, 2001bMyers, 2000Myers, , 2010. An interesting trend in research on this subject concerns the question of whether repressors avoid threatening stimuli intentionally and consciously or in an automatic and unconscious way. ...
Article
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This paper presents the results of a frequency analysis of causal conjunctions and explainers in the speech of persons categorised as low-anxious, high-anxious, and repressors, selected according to the criteria of Weinberger et al. (1979). Ninety female students, assigned to three groups: high-anxious persons (n = 30), low-anxious persons (n = 30), and anxiety repressors (n = 30), gave a speech lasting several minutes concerning personality features that they liked or disliked in themselves. The results strongly confirmed the hypothesis that there are differences in the frequency of use of causal conjunctions and explainers between repressors, high-anxious, and low-anxious individuals. Their number is highest in the utterances of repressors and lowest in the utterances of low-anxious individuals. Our study demonstrates that the experiencing of anxiety does not in itself lead to an increase in the frequency of use of causal expressions. The key factor would appear to be a high level of defensiveness and absence of insight into one’s emotional states, characteristic of repressors. This may lead to a need to rationalise and to seek possible causes for the state of anxiety, which is externalised linguistically through the use of a high number of causal expressions.
... The results of studies in this area show that repressors have little tendency to experience anxiety consciously (during a stressful task), but at the same time exhibit a high level of anxiety through physiological and behavioural indicators (e.g. Asendorph & Scherer, 1983;Derakshan & Eysenck, 1997, 2001a, 2001b. Many researchers assume that repressors perform defensive self-deception strategies which are automatic 1 Freud described repression as a basic defence mechanism entailing an involuntary escape from the awareness of a threatening thought, idea, feeling or desire. ...
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A study was carried out involving persons representing high-anxious, low-anxious and repressor types according to the classification of Weinberger, Davidson & Schwartz (1979), selected using the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale and the trait anxiety scale of the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. In seeking indicators of anxiety in repressors and high-anxious groups, the authors decided to analyse the level of dogmatism observed in utterance texts. The research was intended to determine whether styles of coping with threatening stimuli condition the level of dogmatism, which was regarded as a cognitive defence mechanism against anxiety. The method of formal analysis of texts (speeches given by the participants in a situation of social exposure) was used to identify their level of dogmatism, measured using the Dogmatism Quotient developed by Ertel. The highest value of the Dogmatism Quotient was recorded for repressors, and the lowest for the low-anxious subjects; a similar pattern was also observed for certain particular dimensions of dogmatism. Statistically significant differences in the level of dogmatism were found between the repressor and lowanxious groups and between the high-anxious and low-anxious groups. The study confirmed the previously discovered pattern whereby repressors exhibit more similarities to high-anxious than to low-anxious persons.
... Notwithstanding the concerns for the lack of a defensive high-anxious group, there are several studies supporting Eysenck's predictions regarding attentional biases in high-anxious, lowanxious and repressors within the general population [15][16][17]. There are, however, some theoretical inconsistencies in these studies, with some using words [18], whereas others have used faces [19]. ...
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Attentional biases reflect an individual's selective attention to salient stimuli within their environment, for example an experience of back pain. Eysenck suggests that different personality types show different attentional biases to threatening information. This study is the first to test Eysenck's theory within a chronic back pain population by investigating the attentional biases of four different personality types using a back pain specific dot-probe paradigm. Participants were 70 volunteers (45 female) recruited from a back rehabilitation program at an NHS Trust. The four groups were selected on their trait anxiety and defensiveness scores: defensive high-anxious; high-anxious; repressor and non-extreme. Participants completed a dot probe task comprising 20 practice trials and 250 experimental trials. The experimental trials contained 100 threat-neutral pairs, 100 positive-neutral pairs and 50 neutral-neutral image pairings. The threat images were taken from the Photograph Series of Daily Activities (PHODA) and the neutral and positive images from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS) image bank. The results provided partial support for Eysenck's theory; defensive high-anxious individuals showed an attentional bias for threatening information compared to high-anxious individuals who demonstrated no bias. Repressors showed an avoidant bias to threatening images and an attentional bias to positive stimuli relative to neutral images. The clear difference in responses demonstrated by high-anxious individuals who vary in defensiveness highlight the need for separate investigation of these heterogeneous groups and help to explain the cognitive processes of defensive high-anxious individuals within a pain population. The demonstration of an attentional bias in this group to threatening information could explain why defensive high-anxious individuals are more likely to re-present for treatment.
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The majority of studies in health psychology use self-report measures. However, there is a growing body of evidence indicating that this methodology may be problematic for a significant minority of the population: individuals who possess a repressive coping style (repressors). Repressors, who fail to report negative affect, answer many self-report measures in a positive fashion. Research has identified an association between repressors, who are identified by low trait anxiety scores and high defensiveness scores, and adverse health outcomes. Therefore, repressors are an important group for health psychologists to investigate. Health psychology research should use more than one method of data collection in an attempt to unravel this difficult methodological problem.
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For the first time in a sport setting this study examined the intensity and direction of the competitive state anxiety response in collegiate athletes as a function of four different coping styles: high-anxious, defensive high-anxious, low-anxious and repressors. Specifically, the study predicted that repressors would interpret competitive state anxiety symptoms as more facilitative compared to high-anxious, defensive high-anxious, and low-anxious performers. Separate Multivariate Analyses of Variance (MANOVA) were performed on the intensity and direction subscales of the modified Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (CSAI-2). A significant main effect was identified for trait worry revealing that low trait anxious athletes reported lower intensities of cognitive and somatic anxiety and higher self-confidence and interpreted these as more facilitative than high trait anxious athletes. The prediction that performers with a repressive coping style would interpret state anxiety symptoms as more facilitative than performers with non-repressive coping styles was not supported.
Chapter
The year 2004 marked 25 years since Weinberger, Schwartz and Davidson (1979) published their seminal paper identifying individuals who possess a repressive coping style (repressors). Repressors are identified by their low scores on self-report measures of trait anxiety (measured by various trait anxiety scales, e.g., the Bendig version of the Manifest Anxiety Scale; Bendig, 1956) and high scores on defensiveness (usually measured with the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale; Crowne & Marlowe, 1964). Apart from the repressor group, three control groups are usually identified using the same typology: a further low trait anxiety group that is low on defensiveness (low-anxious) and two high trait anxiety groups, one that is low on defensiveness (high-anxious) and one that is high on defensiveness (defensive high-anxious) (Table 5.1).
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The psychometric properties of a Self-Focused Attention Scale (SFAS) were examined in Greek-born immigrants and Anglo-Australians. Factor analysis on SFAS items yielded four factors, interpretable as those obtained in previous research despite differences in age between the current sample and previous samples employed in SFA research. Analyses supported the distinctions between private and public self and body consciousness. All SFAS subscales, which were individually reliable, were inter-correlated, yielding a satisfactory overall SFAS reliability. Construct validity was indicated by significant correlations with measures of psychopathology. The scale was not significantly correlated with indicators of social desirability. The SFAS may be useful in future work examining private and public aspects of self and body consciousness in community dwelling adults.
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Anxious individuals selectively attend to threatening information, and defensiveness may influence the experience and expression of anxiety. Fifty-eight undergraduates scoring high and low on measures of anxiety and defensiveness viewed pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant pictures. Acoustic startle probes were presented 60, 240, or 2,000ms after picture onset. At 60ms and 240ms, repressors (low anxiety, high defensiveness) showed weaker blinks during both pleasant and unpleasant compared to neutral pictures, suggesting enhanced early attention to affective stimuli, regardless of valence. At 2,000ms, high-anxious but not low anxious participants showed potentiated startle responses during unpleasant compared to pleasant pictures. Although this result replicated previous research on anxiety and valence modulation of startle, exploratory analyses suggested that the valence effect was restricted to trait anxious individuals tending toward a defensive coping style. Across probe conditions, defensiveness was associated with heightened startle reactivity independent of self-reported anxiety and foreground stimulus characteristics.
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Previous research has shown that individuals who possess a repressive coping style have significantly poorer recall of negative childhood memories and also exhibit more comparative optimism for negative events than nonrepressors. The current study investigated whether there is a relationship between recall of childhood memories and comparative optimism. Repressors (REP, low trait anxiety–high defensiveness, N = 20) were compared with specific nonrepressor groups on trait anxiety and defensiveness: low anxious (LA, N = 16), high anxious (HA, N = 16) defensive high anxious (DHA, N = 13), and a non-extreme group (NE, N = 15) chosen from an initial pool of 163 female participants. For REP compared with all non-REP, age of earliest negative memory recalled was significantly older and REP recalled significantly fewer negative childhood memories. For REP only there was a significant correlation between number of negative memories recalled and comparative optimism, with high comparative optimism correlated with a low number of negative childhood memories recalled. There were no other significant correlations with comparative optimism, overall, or for any of the sub-groups. These results indicate a link between childhood and adult measures of social judgements for REP only. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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Discrepancies between physiological activity, behavioural anxiety, and self-reported anxiety were examined when focus of attention was manipulated in a public speech task for four groups of individuals: repressors, low-anxious, high-anxious, and the defensive high-anxious. They were exposed to self-focus (when their behaviour was socially evaluated) and other-focus (when their behaviour was not socially evaluated) conditions. Repressors had consistently the lowest level of self-reported anxiety, but had consistently greater physiological activity in all conditions and greater behavioural anxiety in the self-focus condition. The high-anxious showed the opposite pattern, i.e. their self-reported anxiety was greater than their physiological and behavioural anxiety, and this finding was significant in the self-focus condition. No significant pattern of discrepancy was found for the low-anxious or defensive high-anxious groups. The findings are discussed and interpreted within the framework of recent cognitive models of anxiety.
Article
Measures of state anxiety and thought listing were taken from individuals varying in their levels of trait anxiety and defensiveness under bogus pipeline (Experiment 1) and in a mixed design (Experiment 2) where the bogus pipeline was used as a between-subjects factor (bogus pipeline, no bogus pipeline). Participants were required to solve emotionally valenced easy and difficult anagram tasks. In both experiments, repressors reported high levels of state anxiety and negative thoughts, whereas under standard conditions they reported low levels of state anxiety and negative thoughts. High reported anxiety affected cognitive performance under bogus pipeline conditions (Experiment 2). Repressors became slower in solving negative anagrams. It is suggested that repressor's discrepant self-reports under bogus pipeline and standard conditions may reflect aspects of other-deception as well as self-deception. Alternatively, under conditions, such as the influence of the bogus pipeline, when repressors are encouraged to focus on their internal states, they are led to become more aware of their affective states and hence report high anxiety. Theoretical and methodological implications are discussed.
Article
Self-reported measures of trait anxiety and defensiveness were obtained from 158 participants, and other-ratings on the same dimensions were obtained from raters who knew them well. Repressers (individuals low in trait anxiety and high in defensiveness) had significantly higher other-rated than self-reported trait anxiety, whereas high-anxious individuals (high in trait anxiety and low in defensiveness) and defensive high-anxious individuals (high in trait anxiety and defensivenesss) had significantly lower other-rated than self-reported trait anxiety. Repressors had significantly lower self-reported than other-rated trait anxiety, whereas high-anxious and defensive high-anxious individuals had higher self-reported than other-rated trait anxiety. The findings were related to a theory of trait anxiety proposed by Eysenck (Anxiety and Cognition: A Unified Theory 1997, Hove, UK: Psychology Press) and Eysenck and Derakshan (Cognitive approaches to trait anxiety, submitted).
Article
Introduction The main emphasis of this chapter is on the personality dimension of trait anxiety, which is concerned with individual differences in the tendency to experience anxiety and related negative emotional states. There is general agreement among personality researchers and theorists that trait anxiety (or neuroticism) is one of the most important personality dimensions. Most researchers focusing on the structure of human personality (e.g. McCrae & Costa, 1985) accept there are five main personality dimensions or factors (often called the Big Five), of which neuroticism or trait anxiety is one. Thus, there is considerable consensus at the level of description. Note that the terms ‘trait anxiety’ and ‘neuroticism’ will be used more or less interchangeably in what follows. This is justifiable for two reasons. First, the two personality dimensions typically correlate about +0.7 with each other (H. J. Eysenck & Eysenck, 1985; the name ‘Eysenck’ on its own refers to the author of this chapter). Second, there is considerable evidence that trait anxiety and neuroticism are both relatively pure measures of a broad personality dimension known as negative affectivity (Watson & Clark, 1984). However, it should be noted that neuroticism is typically orthogonal to the personality dimension of extraversion, whereas there is a small negative correlation between trait anxiety and extraversion (H. J. Eysenck & Eysenck, 1985). There has been significantly less progress at the level of explanation than at the level of description. In other words, the nature of the mechanisms underlying individual differences in trait anxiety or neuroticism remain unclear. Some of the main theoretical approaches are discussed in this section. Thereafter, the emphasis will be on a theory of trait anxiety proposed by Eysenck (1997). © Cambridge University Press 2004 and Cambridge University Press, 2009.
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Resumen En este trabajo se presentan los resultados de la relación entre las variables cognitivas (ex-pectativas de logro, nivel de preparación y atri-bución) con el rendimiento y con las variables fisiológicas (actividad cardiovascular) en una situación de evaluación académica. La muestra está integrada por 66 estudiantes universitarios, predominantemente mujeres, que cursan se-gundo año de la licenciatura de Psicología, con edades comprendidas entre 19 y 23 años (media = 20,1 y DT = 1,38). La obtención de información sobre las variables cognitivas se realizó antes y después de la ejecución del examen. Durante la realización del mismo, se registraron las variables fisiológicas en cada una de las fases: adaptación, tarea y recuperación. Se realizaron análisis des-criptivos, de correlación, de regresión y ANOVA 2 (alta-baja: expectativas de resultado, nivel de preparación y atribución) x 3 (fases: adaptación, tarea y recuperación). En los resultados se obser-van diferencias significativas en la actividad fisio-lógica (presión sistólica [PS] y presión diastólica [PD]) entre los grupos con alta-baja expectativa de resultado y nivel de preparación. PalabRas clave Expectativa de nota, atribución causal, varia-bles fisiológicas. abstRact This paper presents the results of the interac-tion between cognitive variables (achievement and attribution) and physiological variables (cardiovascular activity) in a situation context of academic assessment. The participants were 66 university students, predominantly women, in the second year of the Psychology degree. They were between 19 and 23 years old (mean = 20.1 and SD = 1.38). The information on the cognitive variables was obtained before and after taking an exam. During the exam, the physiological va-riables were registered for each one of the pha-ses: adaptation, task and recovery. We carried out descriptive, correlation and ANOVA 2 (high-low result expectation and perception of the preparedness for the exam) x 3 (adaptation, task, recovery) analyses. In the results are observed significant differences in the physiological activi-ty (systolic pressure [SP]) and diastolic pressure [DP]) between the groups with high-low expec-tation of result and level of preparation.
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The inclusion of social phobia (SP) in the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, led to extensive research on the etiology and epidemiology of this disorder. Increasing knowledge about the disorder stimulated the development and empirical evaluation of a number of psychological treatments. The most well-researched class of psychological treatments for SP is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which is the focus of this chapter. In addition, a brief review research on pharmacotherapy is also provided. The most clinically effective and cost-effective intervention is individual cognitive therapy, based upon the Clark and Wells model. Drugs are only recommended as a second-line treatment for social anxiety disorder due to reduced compliance and attrition, side effects, discontinuation symptoms, dietary restrictions, and the likelihood of relapse following discontinuation. Finally, the chapter presents a more comprehensive description of cognitive therapy (CT).
Article
Four groups of participants: repressors (low anxiety–high defensiveness, N=15), low-anxious (low-anxiety–low defensiveness, N=13), high-anxious (high anxiety–low defensiveness, N=14) and defensive high-anxious (high anxiety–high defensiveness, N=10), completed the Monitoring and Blunting Style Scale (MBSS; [Miller, S. M. (1987). Monitoring and blunting: validation of a questionnaire to assess styles of information seeking under threat. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52, 345–353.] and the Coping Orientation to Problems Experienced, (COPE; [Carver, C. S., Scheier, M. F., & Weintraub, J. K. (1989). Assessing coping strategies: a theoretically based approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56, 267–283.]) Repressors scored lower than the other groups in their monitoring scores, but the groups did not differ on their blunting scores. This finding may cast some doubt on the validity of the MBSS, since the majority of research has regarded low monitoring and high blunting styles as equivalent. On the COPE, repressors reported higher levels of coping on only some of the scales and both the COPE and the MBSS appear to be suitable measuring instruments for repressors, who do not appear to complete them in a positive fashion.
Article
Research has suggested an adverse effect of anxiety on cognitive functioning, and high defensive individuals may have poorer control of their anxiety than low defensive individuals. Thus, these individuals may be more likely to have a prescription for psychotropic medication. The purpose of this study was to further delineate the effects of anxiety and defensiveness on neuropsychological test performance and psychotropic medication use. Participants were 143 US veterans referred for neuropsychological evaluation. Four groups were established based on median splits on MMPI‐2 approximations of anxiety and defensiveness. Anxiety and defensiveness were unrelated to neuropsychological test performance. Defensive high anxious individuals were more likely than truly high anxious individuals to have anxiolytic and narcotic prescriptions. There was also a trend toward truly low anxious participants being more likely to be prescribed anxiolytics than repressor participants. Thus, defensiveness appears to attenuate the experience of anxiety in individuals who are low, but not high, in self‐reported anxiety.
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Purpose This systematic review was designed to assess the existence of a potential bidirectional relationship between competitive anxiety and sport performance among professional athletes. Psychotherapists believe that the relationship between these 2 parameters can be directly proportional and, moreover, can go both ways, as they have systematically observed in the general population. Methods For this purpose, a number of 45 descriptive studies were selected from the cybernetic literature to estimate the level of anxiety in competitive athletes, the variables that may influence this parameter and the level of performance achieved as a result. Without therapeutic intervention, anxiety parameters and its covariates were assessed to detect the influence on sport performance and predict the outcome of a competition based on these concepts. Results The systematic review of these studies revealed that competitive anxiety has a major and statistically significant influence on the competitive situation a an athlete, having an important action on their career in the short and long term. Conclusions This analysis has succeeded in demonstrating that a certain degree of anxiety, within the limits imposed by the game experience and through fine psychological mechanisms, can become an asset in terms of achieving the chosen goal in the athlete’s career.
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Working largely independently, numerous investigators have explored the role of self-focused attention in various clinical disorders. This article reviews research examining increased self-focused attention in these disorders. Using information processing constructs, a model of self-focused attention is proposed, and it is suggested that certain deviations in this process constitute a psychopathological kind of attention. A meta-construct model of descriptive psychopathology is then outlined to examine how certain aspects of attention can be considered specific to certain disorders and others common to different disorders
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Normal individuals high and low in trait-anxiety differ from each other in their attentional functioning. The visual probe experiment was used here to investigate whether subjects with a “repressive coping style” could be distinguished from high-and low-anxious subjects. The three groups were identified by use of the Marlowe-Crowne scale of social desirability and the Spielberger Trait-Anxiety Scale. As predicted, the task clearly distinguished between the groups. High-anxious subjects shifted visual attention toward socially threatening words, represson Wed visual attention away from the same stimuli, and low-anxious subjects showed no consistent pattern of attcntional allocation. These patterns were not observed for stimuli relating to physical threat. It is concluded that individuals reporting low anxiety cannot be considered as a homogeneous group. Theoretically, this is an important finding for the understanding of attentional biases and anxiety.
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While there has been considerable concern for the assessment, correlates, and treatment of public speaking anxiety, little attention has been paid to why dispositional public speech anxiety detrimentally affects public speaking performances. In this study we test the notion that high public speaking anxiety is associated with excessive attention to self, leading to less effective public presentations. Results indicate that highly anxious speakers tend to pay less attention to their environments and have more negative, self-focused cognitions about their performances than low anxious speakers. This increase in attention to self is correlated with poorer speaking performances and lower self-evaluations.
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Examined the notion that personality questionnaires can be used to predict different styles of coping with anxiety, as expressed by individual differences in patterns of autonomic, verbal, and nonverbal reactions. In line with earlier modifications of the repression-sensitization concept, the Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale (MAS) and the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale (SDS) were used to select 4 groups of 12 Ss each from a pool of 206 male university students in Germany: low-anxious Ss, repressors, high-anxious Ss, and defensive high-anxious Ss. Measures of autonomic arousal, facial activity, and self-reported affect were obtained during a potentially anxiety-arousing free-association task and during a number of control conditions, including an amusing film. Significant differences in baseline-corrected heart rate and self-reported anxiety as well as rated facial anxiety all indicated that repressors exhibited a discrepancy between low self-reported anxiety and high heart rate and facial anxiety; low anxious Ss reported an intermediate level of anxiety, although they showed low heart rate and facial anxiety; high-anxious Ss had consistently high values on all 3 variables; and the defensive high-anxious Ss showed an intermediate level of anxious responding. These group differences were specific to the task of freely associating to phrases of mixed (sexual, aggressive, neutral) content and to self-reported anxiety, indicating that they reflect individual differences in coping with anxiety. (31 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).
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This study examined whether verbal-autonomic response dissociation in repressive copers is potentiated by conditions that enhance social evaluative concerns. Women classified as repressive, low-anxious, or high-anxious gave a self-disclosing speech in either a private condition (a single researcher observed) or a public condition (3 researchers ostensibly observed). Repressors exhibited heart rate elevations that were greater in magnitude than their self-reports of negative affect, but only in the public condition. High-anxious Ss in both conditions showed an opposite pattern of verbal-autonomic dissociation in which self-reported negative affect exceeded cardiac response. Low-anxious Ss in both conditions showed little responsivity in either channel. Results are interpreted within a self-regulatory framework in which differences in self-concept in the domain of emotionality predispose repressive and high-anxious individuals to engage in contrasting, emotion-focused coping styles.
Article
Self-focused attention has been linked to social anxiety and poor social performance, but the causal direction of this relationship has not been established. For this study, focus of attention was manipulated during a speech task, conducted in pairs for 38 individuals with generalized social phobia. Results indicated that intensifying self-focused attention increased anticipated anxiety and anxious appearance, regardless of whether the individual was giving a speech or passively standing before the audience. The self-focus manipulation also increased self-reported anxiety during the task, but only for individuals assigned to a passive role. Contrary to expectation, self-focused attention did not affect any measure of social performance. These results indicate that self-focused attention may play a causal role in exacerbating social anxiety.
Article
Four groups were identified on the basis of high or low scores on trait anxiety and defensiveness obtained under standard conditions. They subsequently completed the same questionnaires under "bogus pipeline" conditions designed to elicit honest responding. Trait anxiety scores did not change significantly for any group between the two test conditions, suggesting that trait anxiety scores obtained under standard conditions are not subject to deliberate distortion. In contrast, defensiveness scores were significantly lower in all four groups under bogus pipeline conditions, especially for the repressor (low trait anxiety, high defensiveness) and defensive high-anxious (high trait anxiety, high defensiveness) groups. It was concluded that most repressors are self-deceivers, in terms of trait anxiety, rather than other-deceivers.
Article
The present research was designed to investigate the proposition that repressors, operationally defined by the conjunction of low anxiety and high defensiveness, are particularly adept at avoiding the processing of information when motivated to do so. Four groups of participants (nondefensive-low anxious, high anxious, repressors, and defensive-high anxious) were administered a dichotic listening task involving neutral or negative affective words presented in the unattended ear. Participants shadowed the material presented to the attended ear and simultaneously responded to a probe task presented on a video monitor. Results revealed that repressors made significantly fewer shadowing errors than high anxious and defensive-high anxious participants and marginally significantly fewer shadowing errors than low anxious participants for both neutral and negative words. High anxious participants, however, were later able to recognize the negative words that had been presented to the unattended ear at well above chance levels, whereas the recognition memory of repressors for such negative unattended words was at chance levels. In addition, repressors' responses to a postexperiment questionnaire indicated a significantly greater number of distracting thoughts during the experiment relative to other participants. Repressors, it seems, are indeed skillful at avoidant information processing and this capacity may well be related to the emotional memory deficits they have displayed in previous research.
Article
Four groups were identified on the basis of high or low scores on trait anxiety and defensiveness obtained under standard conditions. They subsequently completed the same questionnaires under “bogus pipeline” conditions designed to elicit honest responding. Trait anxiety scores did not change significantly for any group between the two test conditions, suggesting that trait anxiety scores obtained under standard conditions are not subject to deliberate distortion. In contrast, defensiveness scores were significantly lower in all four groups under bogus pipeline conditions, especially for the repressor (low trait anxiety, high defensiveness) and defensive high-anxious (high trait anxiety, high defensiveness) groups. It was concluded that most repressors are self-deceivers, in terms of trait anxiety, rather than other-deceivers.
Article
This study explored the relationship between an avoidant coping style and three responses during three experimental periods (i.e., speech preparation, speech delivery, and recovery). One response was cardiovascular reactivity, the two other responses were subjective in nature: self-reports of anxiety and self-estimations of blood pressure. Subjects were 20 male and 20 female students who scored either in the upper third (i.e., high-avoiders) or lower third (i.e., low-avoiders) on cognitive avoidance (Krohne, 1989). When compared to subjects scoring low on avoidance, those high on avoidance showed greater systolic blood pressure (SBP) reactivity and evidenced verbal-autonomic response dissociation across all experimental periods. That is, their SBP increases were stronger in relation to their increases in self-reported anxiety. Verbal-autonomic response dissociation, however, did not occur for estimations of SBP, suggesting that self-reports of anxiety and estimations of autonomic responses reflect distinct response systems. These findings indicate that individuals characterized by an avoidant coping style may be at increased risk for the development of physical health problems.
Article
An emotional Stroop task was used to investigate colour naming of socially threatening words in individuals who possess a repressive coping style. The Marlowe-Crowne scale (MC) and the Bendig version of the Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale (MAS) were used to select repressor and control subjects, who subsequently completed the Stroop task. Repressors (high MC, low MAS) did not show an emotional Stroop effect, whereas low anxious (low MC, low MAS), high anxious (low MC, high MAS) and defensive high anxious (high MC, high MAS) all exhibited retarded colour naming of emotional words compared with neutral words. These results are discussed in terms of previous research in this area.
Article
The discordance between an electrodermal and a subjective measure of disturbance was studied in 36 males. Electrodermal responses to emotionally loaded questions were recorded and subjects were requested to rate on visual analogue scales how disturbing they found the questions. The subjects were divided into three groups according to their ‘accuracy’ of self-perception and it was hypothesised that those who reported low subjective disturbance but reacted relatively strongly electrodermally (‘repressors’), would have a high defensiveness score but low trait anxiety. Conversely, subjects who amplify their disturbance (‘sensitisers’) were expected to have a low defensiveness score and high trait anxiety. The hypotheses were confirmed suggesting that both under and over reporting of subjective disturbance are related to defensiveness and trait anxiety. Another finding was that ‘sensitisers’ were significantly younger than ‘repressors’.
Article
Notes that self-awareness theory has generated a considerable amount of research activity; however, the most widely used manipulation of self-focus—the mirror—has not been satisfactorily validated. Exp I was an attempt to do so. At the same time an attempt was made to validate the Self-Consciousness Scale (SCS), an instrument designed to measure chronic dispositions to be self-attentive. 79 female undergraduates responded to a sentence completion blank either in an empty room or while facing a mirror. Results indicate that the mirror does manipulate, and the private subscale of the SCS does measure, self-attention. Exp II, with 81 female undergraduates, was a replication of the 1st study, but using an audience instead of a mirror. Results indicate that audience presence also heightens self-attention. Implications for attentional analyses of social behavior are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Describes the development of a scale to assess individual differences in self-consciousness. Construction of the scale involved testing the 38 initial items with 130 female and 82 male undergraduates. A principal components factor analysis of the data yielded 3 factors accounting for 43% of the variance: Private Self-Consciousness, Public Self-Consciousness, and Social Anxiety. The final version of the scale, which contained 23 items, was administered to several groups of undergraduates (N = 668) to obtain norms, test-retest (2 wks), subscale correlation, and reliability data. Test-retest reliabilities were .84 for the Public Self-Consciousness scale, .79 for the Private Self-Consciousness scale, .73 for the Social Anxiety scale, and .80 for the total score. Public Self-Consciousness correlated moderately with both Private Self-Consciousness and Social Anxiety, while the correlation of Private Self-Consciousness with Social Anxiety fluctuated around zero. No sex differences in scores were observed. Implications for research and therapy are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The experiments reported here were designed to test predictions from a cognitive theory of personality proposed by M. W. Eysenck (1997). According to that theory, many of the observed differences between individuals high in trait anxiety and repressors (individuals low in trait anxiety and high in social desirability) depend on underlying individual differences in cognitive biases. It follows from the theory that high-anxious individuals should have an interpretive bias for their own behavior in social situations, that is, they exaggerate how anxious it is. In contrast, repressors should have an opposite interpretive bias for their own behavior, that is, they underestimate how anxious it is. Evidence consistent with these predictions was obtained in Experiments 1 and 2. Implications of these findings for cognitive theories of personality are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The verbal reasoning performance of high-anxious (high trait anxiety, low defensiveness), defensive high-anxious (high trait anxiety, high defensiveness), repressor (low trait anxiety, high defensiveness), and low-anxious (low trait anxiety, low defensiveness) groups was examined under high and low memory load conditions. 79 undergraduate students completed the trait scale of the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and a measure of defensiveness. The Ss performed verbal reasoning tasks under high and low memory load conditions. As predicted by the processing efficiency theory (M. W. Eysenck & M. G. Calvo, 1992), the slowing of reasoning speed with the high memory load was disproportionately great for the high-anxious and defensive high-anxious groups. The effects of high memory load on reasoning speed were the same for the low-anxious and repressor groups, suggesting that both groups had equivalently low levels of worrying (and other anxiety-related) task-irrelevant thoughts. Theoretical implications of these, and other findings, for the understanding of repressors are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Several questions concerning the relation between self-focused attention and depressed mood were examined: (a) Does the association involve global negative affect, rather than sadness per se? (b) is self-focus associated with specific negative affects other than sadness? and (c) does the association occur at the between-subjects or within-subject level? Also hypothesized was that self-focus is associated with coping responses that may perpetuate negative mood. In an idiographic/nomothetic design, 40 male community residents completed daily reports for 30 days. Results suggest that self-focus is linked with global negative mood as well as specific negative affects other than sadness and that the association occurs on a between-persons, rather than a day-to-day within-person, basis. In addition, highly self-focused men reported using passive and ruminative coping styles, which in turn were associated with distressed affect.
Article
We investigated the impact of performance expectancies and self-focused attention on social performance in a mixed-sex dyad. A group of 48 undergraduate men with self-reported moderate social anxiety were divided into two groups on the basis of their high or low performance expectancies. Subjects were asked to respond to several self-report questionnaires before and after making a 4-5-min phone call to a female confederate for the purpose of getting acquainted. Half of the subjects in each expectancy group performed in the presence of a self-focusing stimulus (video camera). When anxiety level was controlled for, focus of attention alone had a very limited effect on performance. Expectancy had a significant influence on social performance, but only if subjects were self-focused. Thus confident subjects were rated by judges as more socially skilled than were doubtful subjects, but only when the camera was present. The interaction between these variables parallels previous research and supports the self-regulation model of Carver and Scheier.
Article
The Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale was used as a measure of defensiveness in conjunction with Byrne's Repression-Sensitization Scale to differentiate defensive and nondefensive repressors. All Ss were given a series of sentences partially masked with white noise. Defensive repressors had a significantly higher auditory perceptual threshold for sexual sentences than either sensitizers or nondefensive repressors. Results were interpreted as support for using a measure of defensiveness to differentiate the “true” repressor from Ss who obtain low Byrne scores simply because they lack the pathology implied in the test items.
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