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Whether, how, and when social anxiety shapes positive experiences and events: A self-regulatory framework and treatment implications

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... Much of the focus within the literature on interpretation bias has been on negative interpretation bias of negative, ambiguous, or neutral social events. However, social anxiety is associated with fear of evaluation in and avoidance of social situations regardless of valence (Kashdan et al., 2011). Interpretation of positive social events (e.g., a friendly social event, doing well in a presentation) is an under-researched area among socially anxious individuals. ...
... A variety of 'positivity deficits' have been found among socially anxious individuals, including diminished positive affect (Goodman et al., 2018;Kashdan et al., 2011;Richey et al., 2019;Taylor et al., 2010). Positive emotions such as joy and gratitude, in turn, are associated with increased well-being (Fredrickson & Joiner, 2002;Livingstone & Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. ...
... Thus, it was not possible to examine the association between changes in IU and decreases in negative interpretations of positive social events over treatment. Multiple positivity deficits have been identified amongst individuals with SAD (e.g., Kashdan et al., 2011), yet, this study only included a single measure of negative interpretations. The current study represents the first study examining pre-post treatment changes in negative interpretations of positive social events and therefore, given its preliminary nature, did not include other measures of negatively biased judgments. ...
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Background Individuals with social anxiety disorder (SAD) report interpreting social events negatively regardless of valence. Fear of causing discomfort to others and intolerance of uncertainty (IU) are associated with negative interpretations of positive social situations. However, no studies have examined whether these negative interpretations change over CBT for SAD, nor predictors of such changes. This study examined if: negative interpretations of positive social events improve during CBT for SAD; these negative interpretations correlate with social anxiety symptom severity, fear of causing discomfort to others, and IU at the start of treatment; and fear of causing discomfort to others, IU and its subfactors at the start of treatment predict changes in these negative interpretations over treatment. Methods Eighty-five treatment-seeking DSM diagnosed individuals with primary SAD completed measures of the tendency to interpret positive events negatively pre-post CBT, and IU and fears of causing discomfort to others at pre-treatment. Results Results demonstrated significant pre-post decreases after CBT for SAD in negative interpretations of positive social events. All measures were significantly correlated with each other. None of the pre-treatment variables significantly predicted decreases in negative interpretations of positive social events over treatment. Conclusions CBT may be effective in reducing these negative interpretations.
... Individuals with social anxiety disorder (SAD) are preoccupied with the possibility of scrutiny and evaluation within social settings, demonstrating persistent fear of situations in which they may be evaluated by others (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Alongside research on these fear-related symptoms, a growing number of studies have documented a variety of "positivity deficits" for people with higher levels of social anxiety across a range of situations and experiences (Kashdan, 2007;Kashdan, Weeks, & Savostyanova, 2011). High levels of social anxiety have been related to lower positive affect from social experiences (Kashdan & Collins, 2010), fewer positive experiences (Kashdan & Steger, 2006) and reduced capacity to savour such experiences (Eisner, Johnson, & Carver, 2009). ...
... Unlike healthy individuals, individuals with SAD tend to underestimate their social competence even in positive interactions, and lack the tendency to interpret ambiguous social situations in a positive manner (see Amir, Foa, & Coles, 1998;Huppert, Pasupuleti, Foa, & Mathews, 2007;Moscovitch, Orr, Rowa, Reimer, & Antony, 2009;Stopa & Clark, 2000). These data suggest that social anxiety is associated with infrequent, low-intensity, and short-lived positive experiences, as well as distinct biases in cognitive processing that restrict quality of life (Kashdan et al., 2011). ...
... The positivity deficits that have been demonstrated by individuals with SAD have been linked to problems with emotion regulation, which entails the ability to control or adjust thoughts, emotions, and behaviours dependent on the situational context (Kashdan & Rottenberg, 2010). Indeed, individuals with SAD often employ maladaptive selfregulatory strategies such as avoidance, use of safety behaviours, and emotional suppression (Kashdan et al., 2011;Morrison & Heimberg, 2013), and tend to report less frequent and effective use of putatively adaptive strategies such as cognitive reappraisal (e.g., Kivity & Huppert, 2016Werner, Goldin, Ball, Heimberg, & Gross, 2011), which involves the ability to reassess and alter the content of a disturbing stimulus (e.g., a thought or image; Katz, Lustig, Assis, & Yovel, 2017). These findings align with recent emphasis on the role of emotional dysregulation in social anxiety, and particularly that individuals with SAD may be less effective at using cognitive reappraisal in their day to day lives (Kivity & Huppert, 2016;Morrison & Heimberg, 2013 Thus, the work of Kashdan and colleagues as well as others suggests that emotion regulation difficulties likely interact with cognitive biases characteristic of SAD to maintain symptoms of social anxiety. ...
Article
People with social anxiety disorder (SAD) lack non-socially anxious individuals' tendency to interpret ambiguous social information in a positively biased manner. To gain a better understanding of the specific in-vivo social consequences of positive interpretation bias, we recruited 38 individuals with SAD and 31 healthy controls (HC) to participate in an in-vivo social task. We tested whether a positive interpretation bias, measured using a sentence completion task, might confer benefits for the adaptive emotion regulation strategy of cognitive reappraisal, and whether such benefits depended on participants’ emotional states. We also examined whether positive interpretation bias might confer additional benefits such as improved self-perceived and observer-rated social performance. In support of prior research, HC participants exhibited a positive interpretation bias on the sentence completion task, whereas participants with SAD did not. Regression analyses revealed that positive interpretation bias predicted greater cognitive reappraisal during social stress, particularly when state positive affect was low. Moreover, positive interpretation bias predicted more positive self-perception of social performance and reduced underestimations of performance relative to observer ratings. These results suggest that positive interpretations of ambiguous social information may be related to improvements in cognitive reappraisal and more positive self-perceptions of social performance.
... Individuals with social anxiety exhibit emotional instability, impatience, and impulsivity; express their emotions through repression and concealing (Wu and Liu, 2006); and display poor emotion regulation ability and low self-efficacy (Kashdan et al., 2011). Regulatory emotional self-efficacy, a type of self-efficacy, not only has a direct impact on behaviors but also can indirectly affect behaviors by influencing cognition, motivations, decisions and emotions, thereby playing a pivotal role in regulating individual personality and behavior and further maintaining the mental health state of individuals (Tang et al., 2010). ...
... Kashdan and McKnight (2010) found that some individuals with social anxiety have poor emotion regulation ability, face difficulty in adapting to environmental changes, and experience varied negative emotions and strong hostile impulses. Individuals with social anxiety are emotionally instable, impatient, and impulsive; they express their emotions through repression and concealing and exhibit poor emotion regulation ability (Kashdan et al., 2011). In addition, the self-negative belief held by socially anxious individuals has an influence on their meta-evaluation of mood; therefore, their regulatory emotional self-efficacy is lower than that of other individuals (Mennin et al., 2005;Bassi et al., 2018). ...
... On the one hand, college students with a high social anxiety level lack social skills and use inappropriate coping strategies in social activities, leading to unfavorable social outcomes (Li et al., 2003) and thus addiction behaviors. On the other hand, college students with a high social anxiety level have poor emotion regulation ability and cognition, which render them incapable of adjusting their emotional state well (Kashdan et al., 2011), leading to the low regulatory emotional self-efficacy and thus mobile phone addiction. ...
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The present study explores the underlying mechanism of the relationship between college students’ social anxiety and mobile phone addiction. Adopting college students’ social anxiety scale, regulatory emotional self-efficacy scale, subjective well-being scale and mobile phone addiction scale, this research tested valid samples of 680 Chinese college students. The results indicated that social anxiety exerted a significant and positive impact on mobile phone addiction. Regulatory emotional self-efficacy played a partial mediating role between social anxiety and mobile phone addiction. Subjective well-being also played a partial mediating role between social anxiety and mobile phone addiction. Moreover, both regulatory emotional self-efficacy and subjective well-being were found to play a chain mediating role between social anxiety and mobile phone addiction. The study provides valuable insights into the impact of college students’ social anxiety on mobile phone addiction.
... Extant literature on SAD has observed two symptom presentations of the disorder: Social observation anxiety, which refers to fear of public speaking and performances, and social interaction anxiety, which relates to interpersonal interactions (APA, 2013). Symptoms associated with social interaction anxiety, in particular, relate to social avoidance or withdrawing behavior (Kashdan et al. 2011a) and a depressive affect profile (Brown et al. 1998;Chorpita et al. 2000;Kashdan 2004; Kashdan et al. 2011b;Watson et al. 1988). This relates to increased loneliness and inhibition, as well as decreased energy, pleasure, well-being, and relationship satisfaction (Kashdan 2004;Kashdan et al. 2011a;Kashdan et al. 2011b;Safren et al. 1996;Schneier et al. 1994;Stein and Kean 2000). ...
... Symptoms associated with social interaction anxiety, in particular, relate to social avoidance or withdrawing behavior (Kashdan et al. 2011a) and a depressive affect profile (Brown et al. 1998;Chorpita et al. 2000;Kashdan 2004; Kashdan et al. 2011b;Watson et al. 1988). This relates to increased loneliness and inhibition, as well as decreased energy, pleasure, well-being, and relationship satisfaction (Kashdan 2004;Kashdan et al. 2011a;Kashdan et al. 2011b;Safren et al. 1996;Schneier et al. 1994;Stein and Kean 2000). ...
... Regarding sexual satisfaction, individuals with social interaction anxiety report lower in sexual satisfaction regardless if they engage in HRSB. This supported other findings that people high in social anxiety are low in sexual satisfaction (Kashdan et al. 2011b;Montesi et al. 2013). Engagement in sexual behavior does not appear to contribute to sexual fulfillment, and other concerns may need clinical assessment and intervention. ...
Article
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Social anxiety disorder is prevalent and negatively impacts adolescents and young adults. People with social interaction anxiety, a presentation category of social anxiety disorder pertaining to social relationships, tend to be more withdrawn, avoidant, and sexually dissatisfied. Some individuals with social interaction anxiety are more likely to engage in health-risk sexual behavior (HRSB), likely associated with individual differences. The present study used finite mixture modeling to discern profiles comprised of social interaction anxiety and individual differences previously associated with HRSB, replicating and extending previous findings (Rahm-Knigge et al. 2018). We also examined differences in sexual satisfaction among profiles. We replicated identifying two profiles high in social interaction anxiety that substantively differed in response to positive and negative emotions, emotion-regulation strategies, risk seeking, and non-acceptance of emotions. The profile high in social interaction anxiety and these individual differences was likelier to engage in HRSB than the other high social anxiety profile. Both high social interaction anxiety profiles were similarly low in sexual satisfaction. Despite differences in individual differences and engagement in HRSB, profiles high in social interaction anxiety reported similarly lower sexual satisfaction than the profiles low in social interaction anxiety.
... The suggestion is that positive self-views such as (they think I gave a good speech) would motivate a person to seek out new social experiences that are rewarding and generate positive affect. This view is supported by research showing that there are two different and independent biobehavioural systems, an avoidance system to prevent exposure to danger and an approach system to guide individuals towards potentially rewarding situations and that these systems are associated with distinct cognitive and affective processes (Kashdan, Weeks, & Savostyanova, 2011). A review of positive psychological functioning in socially anxious individuals implies that a greater activation of the avoidant versus approach system is linked to dampened positive experiences (Kashdan et al., 2011). ...
... This view is supported by research showing that there are two different and independent biobehavioural systems, an avoidance system to prevent exposure to danger and an approach system to guide individuals towards potentially rewarding situations and that these systems are associated with distinct cognitive and affective processes (Kashdan, Weeks, & Savostyanova, 2011). A review of positive psychological functioning in socially anxious individuals implies that a greater activation of the avoidant versus approach system is linked to dampened positive experiences (Kashdan et al., 2011). One way to address the under-activated approach system could lie in a greater focus on positive self-views. ...
... The current study's focus on enhancing positive cognitions is in line with other recent intervention approaches that focus on positive dimensions, such as positivity-approach training for depressive symptoms (Becker et al., 2019) and Positive Affect Treatment (PAT) for depression and anxiety (Craske, Meuret, Ritz, Treanor, & Dour, 2016). If, as suggested by Thurston et al. (2017), enhancement of positive self-thoughts would bring about behavioural engagement, activating the approach system (Kashdan et al., 2011) this could yield further benefits such as a reinforcement of positive responses in a young person's daily life and, in turn decreases social anxiety symptoms (Thurston et al., 2017). A next study using our approach could include the effects of positive peer feedback on more distal and consequential constructs such as self-esteem, social anxiety symptoms, and social approach behaviour. ...
Article
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This study investigated whether positive feedback from same-age peers can modify self-relevant cognitive processes of high socially anxious youth in a positive direction. Thirty-three high socially anxious and 32 non-socially anxious undergraduate students (17–22 years) gave an impromptu speech and received either positive or neutral feedback post-speech. Anticipatory processing (AP) was rated prior to the speech via self-report. One week later participants returned to the laboratory and completed questionnaires assessing post-event processing (PEP) thoughts related to the impromptu speech and AP about a future speech. For high socially anxious youth receiving positive feedback, AP about their speech performance significantly improved over time. In addition, high socially anxious participants who received positive feedback reported a higher frequency of positive PEP thoughts about their speech in the intervening week. These improvements did not occur in the neutral peer feedback condition. Non-socially anxious participants’ AP improved in both feedback conditions, whereas their frequency of PEP was unaffected by feedback. These findings suggest that, in high socially anxious youth, positive feedback from same-age peers can modify self-relevant cognitive processes in a positive direction. We discuss how methodological improvements could more thoroughly investigate the potential of positive peer feedback for changing cognitions.
... People with SAD are excessively concerned about social evaluation and rejection (Moscovitch 2009;Moscovitch et al., 2013). To avoid unfavorable social outcomes, they devote considerable energy to managing their emotions, characterized by overreliance on avoidance and infrequent use of alternative strategies (Kashdan et al., 2011). People with SAD place high value on controlling their emotions, in part because they fear they offer additional opportunities for rejection, opting to avoid uncomfortable feelings and constrain emotional expression Kashdan et al., 2014). ...
... People with SAD place high value on controlling their emotions, in part because they fear they offer additional opportunities for rejection, opting to avoid uncomfortable feelings and constrain emotional expression Kashdan et al., 2014). Therefore, regulatory patterns of people with SAD have been described as "inflexible" and "rigid", characterized by persistent avoidance Kashdan et al., 2011). ...
... Dysfunctional emotion regulation is thought to be at the core of SAD (Kashdan et al., 2011), anxiety disorders (Hofmann et al., 2012), internalizing disorders (Bullis et al., 2019), externalizing disorders (McHugh & Goodman, 2019), and psychopathology more broadly (Fernandez et al., 2016). Yet, conceptual and methodological ambiguity has resulted in a lack of clarity on the core features of emotion dysregulation (Aldao et al., 2016). ...
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Background Emotion regulation flexibility is a person's tendency to shift their use of emotion regulation strategies in response to contextual demands. A lack of flexibility is thought to underlie affective disorders, yet conceptualizations of “flexibility” vary widely, and few studies have empirically assessed flexibility. In this study, we outline methods for measuring emotion regulation flexibility and then examine evidence for inflexibility in people with a common affective disorder: social anxiety disorder (SAD). Methods Participants were community adults diagnosed with SAD and a psychologically healthycontrol group who completed a 14-day experience-sampling study. Participants recorded their most anxiety-provoking event each day, how they evaluated contextual demands (i.e., perceived controllability, emotional intensity) of these events, and their use of seven emotion regulation strategies to manage anxiety. Hypotheses and analyses were preregistered with the Open Science Framework (https://osf.io/s7kqj/). Results Participants with SAD demonstrated some evidence of inflexibility. They used three disengagement strategies (rumination, thought suppression, expressive suppression) more often than controls and did so independently of contextual demands (specifically, perceived controllability). Nonetheless, participants with SAD largely demonstrated similar regulatory patterns as controls, most notably in their use of engagement strategies (acceptance, cognitive, reappraisal, problem-solving). Limitations We measured two of many possible contextual demands, did not compare to a mixed clinical group or other affective disorders (e.g., depression), and did not assess temporal sequences of strategy use. Conclusions People with SAD demonstrate some inflexibility in their use of disengagement regulation strategies.
... There is a need for innovative psychological and philosophical research to address the broader implications of healthy philautia's positive self-qualities, which could deliver the potential for self-love and societal concern to the SAD person, opening the bridge to the procurement of all forms of interpersonal love. Kashdan, Weeks, and Savostyanova (2011) cite the "evidence that social anxiety is associated with diminished positive experiences, infrequent positive events, an absence of positive inferential biases in social situations, fear responses to overtly positive events, and poor quality of life." Models of CBT that attempt only to reduce the individual's avoidance behaviors would benefit from addressing more specifically the relational deficits that such people experience, as well as positive psychological measures to counter SAD's culture of maladaptive self-beliefs. ...
... One such step is the integration of positive psychology within the cognitive behavioral therapy model which, "despite recent scientific attention to the positive spectrum of psychological functioning and social anxiety/SAD … has yet to be integrated into mainstream accounts of assessment, theory, phenomenology, course, and treatment" (Kashdan et al., 2011). CBT would continue to modify automatic maladaptive self-beliefs, thoughts, and behaviors, and positive psychology would replace them with positive self-qualities. ...
Chapter
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Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is one of the most common psychophysiological malfunctions, affecting the emotional and mental well-being of over 15 million U.S. adults who find themselves caught up in a densely interconnected network of fear and avoidance of social situations. These observations provide insight into the relationship deficits experienced by people with SAD. Their innate need-for-intimacy is no less dynamic than that of any individual, but their impairment disrupts the ability (means-of-acquisition) to establish affectional bonds in almost any capacity. The spirit is willing, but competence insubstantial. It is the means-of-acquisition and how they are symptomatically challenged by SAD that is the context of this research. Notwithstanding overwhelming evidence of social incompatibility, there is hope for the startlingly few SAD persons who commit to recovery. A psychobiographical approach integrating positive psychology's optimum human functioning with CBT's behavior modification, neuroscience's network restructuring, and other supported and non-traditional approaches can establish a working platform for discovery, opening the bridge to the procurement of forms of intimacy previously inaccessible. It is an arduous and measured crossing that only 5% of the afflicted will even attempt in the first year of onset.
... As a result, socially anxious (SA) individuals tend to either withdraw from social situations entirely, or rely on maladaptive self-protective strategies to conceal self-perceived flaws (Moscovitch, 2009;Moscovitch et al., 2013). Unfortunately, such strategies diminish SA individuals' social functioning, often leading to chronic loneliness and impaired positive connections (Alden et al., 2014;Gilboa-Schechtman et al., 2014;Kashdan et al., 2011;Rowa et al., 2015;Plasencia et al., 2016). ...
... Furthermore, social interactions during the pandemic may inherently offer greater opportunities for self-concealment to counter SA individuals' intensified evaluative concerns, emboldening them to pursue more social opportunities. During the pandemic, SA individuals may be inconspicuously co-opting newly introduced social normssuch as communicating online, interacting from a physical distance, or conversing from behind a maskas self-regulatory strategies, allowing them to remain concealed while conforming to societal expectations, and thus reducing the typical attentional costs of employing these strategies (Kashdan et al., 2011), especially for those with the highest levels of impairment. As for the moderating role of COVID-related stressors, such experiences may further encourage people to obtain social support to cope in difficult circumstances (Rimé, 2009;Schachter, 1959). ...
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Background and objectives: Individuals with social anxiety (SA) have well-established fears of being negatively evaluated and of exposing self-perceived flaws to others. However, the unique impacts of pre-existing SA on well-being and interpersonal outcomes within the stressful context of the pandemic are currently unknown. Design: In a preregistered study that took place in May 2020, we surveyed 488 North American community participants online. Methods: We used multiple linear regression to analyze whether pre-existing SA symptoms predicted current coronavirus anxiety, loneliness, fears of negative evaluation, use of preventive measures, and affiliative outcomes, and whether pre-existing functional impairment and recent COVID-related stressors moderated these relations. Results: Results highlighted the negative effects of pre-existing social anxiety (SA) on current mental health functioning, especially for participants with higher pre-existing functional impairment and greater exposure to COVID-related stressors. Although participants with higher pre-existing SA reported currently feeling lonelier and more fearful of negative evaluation, they also endorsed greater efforts to affiliate with others. Conclusions: High SA individuals may have heightened desire for social support within the isolating context of the pandemic, in which COVID-related social restrictions enable greater avoidance of social evaluation but may also mask the enduring impairment associated with pre-existing SA.
... Avoidance refers to attempts to control or eliminate unwanted internal experiences. Although avoidance renders immediate relief from distress, inflexible use of it could increase the risk of emotional problems including depression and social anxiety (Hayes et al. 1999;Kashdan et al. 2011). Rumination refers to repetitive brooding over the cause and consequences of one's negative emotions (Nolen-Hoeksema and Morrow 1991). ...
... Whereas avoidance is an effective yet temporary ER strategy. It is maladaptive when used rigidly and causes impairment in the long term (Hayes et al. 1999;Kashdan et al. 2011). These data indicate that it is necessary to provide differential therapeutic approaches in the development and application of alcohol related problems between the SAD groups and the non-SAD groups. ...
Article
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Emerging evidence suggests that increased negative emotions and maladaptive emotion regulation (ER) strategies underlie social anxiety disorder (SAD) and alcohol related problems, but little is known about how specific negative emotions and maladaptive ER strategies interact with one another in predicting drinking in daily life. This study aimed to investigate (1) the impact of within-person level negative emotions and maladaptive ER strategies on drinking among individuals with SAD, and (2) the moderating effect of specific maladaptive ER strategies (avoidance, rumination, suppression) on the relationship between negative emotions and alcohol craving in daily life via an ecological momentary assessment (EMA). Results revealed that the SAD group (n = 66) showed a higher increase rate in alcohol craving when they were socially anxious, tense and lonely than the non-SAD group (n = 53). In moderation analyses, maladaptive ER strategies interacted with negative emotions in predicting alcohol craving and different patterns were observed between groups: rumination was a significant moderator for the SAD group, while avoidance was for the non-SAD group in both concurrent and lagged effect analyses. Implications for the future research and interventions on daily negative emotions and maladaptive ER strategies are discussed.
... Theoretical models suggest that people with SAD display maladaptive emotion regulation patterns that interfere with positive experiences and meaningful life pursuits (Kashdan, Weeks, & Savostyanova, 2011). People with SAD view emotions as unhelpful and potentially harmful, as they worry that certain emotions may be visible (e.g. ...
... Theoretical models suggest that people with SAD have difficulty deriving meaningful experiences because they hold negative attitudes toward emotions and disproportionately focus on trying to control and/or get rid of unwanted emotions (Kashdan et al., 2011). As a result of excess focus on emotion regulation, people with SAD may be less equipped to attend to potentially meaningful experiences as they unfold and have fewer available resources to pursue valued goals. ...
Article
People with social anxiety disorder (SAD) display maladaptive attitudes towards emotions. In this experience-sampling study, we explored the extent to which people with SAD viewed anxiety and pain as an impediment to pursuing personal strivings and deriving meaning in life. Participants were adults diagnosed with SAD and a control comparison group who completed baseline questionnaires and daily surveys for 14 consecutive days. People with SAD perceived anxiety and pain as interfering with progress towards their strivings to a greater degree than healthy controls. Perception of emotion-related goal interference was inversely associated with daily meaning. This relationship was moderated by diagnostic group such that there was a strong, inverse association with daily meaning in life for people with SAD; for controls, no association was found. Results suggest that negative beliefs about the value of anxiety and pain are pronounced in people with SAD and may impede derivation of meaning in life.
... As a result, socially anxious (SA) individuals tend to either withdraw from social situations entirely, or rely on maladaptive self-protective strategies to conceal self-perceived flaws (Moscovitch, 2009;Moscovitch et al., 2013). Unfortunately, such strategies diminish SA individuals' social functioning, often leading to chronic loneliness and impaired positive connections (Alden et al., 2014;Gilboa-Schechtman et al., 2014;Kashdan et al., 2011;Rowa et al., 2015;Plasencia et al., 2016). ...
... Furthermore, social interactions during the pandemic may inherently offer greater opportunities for self-concealment to counter SA individuals' intensified evaluative concerns, emboldening them to pursue more social opportunities. During the pandemic, SA individuals may be inconspicuously co-opting newly introduced social normssuch as communicating online, interacting from a physical distance, or conversing from behind a maskas self-regulatory strategies, allowing them to remain concealed while conforming to societal expectations, and thus reducing the typical attentional costs of employing these strategies (Kashdan et al., 2011), especially for those with the highest levels of impairment. As for the moderating role of COVID-related stressors, such experiences may further encourage people to obtain social support to cope in difficult circumstances (Rimé, 2009;Schachter, 1959). ...
Article
Background and objectives Individuals with social anxiety (SA) have well-established fears of being negatively evaluated and exposing self-perceived flaws to others. However, the unique impacts of pre-existing SA on well-being and interpersonal outcomes within the stressful context of the pandemic are currently unknown. Design In a study that took place in May 2020, we surveyed 488 North American community participants online. Methods We used multiple linear regression to analyze whether retrospective reports of pre-pandemic SA symptoms predicted current coronavirus anxiety, loneliness, fears of negative evaluation, use of preventive measures, and affiliative outcomes, and whether pre-pandemic functional impairment and recent COVID-related stressors moderated these relations. Results Results highlighted the negative effects of pre-pandemic SA on current mental health functioning, especially for participants with higher pre-pandemic functional impairment and greater exposure to COVID-related stressors. Although participants with higher pre-pandemic SA reported currently feeling lonelier and more fearful of negative evaluation, they also endorsed greater efforts to affiliate with others. Conclusions High SA individuals may have heightened desire for social support within the isolating context of the pandemic, in which COVID-related social restrictions enable greater avoidance of social evaluation but may also mask the enduring impairment associated with pre-pandemic SA.
... The researchers proposed that people with SAD will seem to have less negative emotion separation in their lifestyle, and that these contrasts would lead to social inability (Juretić and Živčić-Bećirević, 2013). It was found that people with SAD have been shown to have high levels of negative emotions and low levels of positive emotions, as well as a tendency to see positive experiences as worsening, which can lead to the co-occurrence of insignificant positive and over-the-top negative emotions (Kashdan, Weeks and Savostyanova, 2011). Extending previous theorising on SAD and emotions, we believe that people with SAD will also display signs of low negative emotion fraction (Parkinson and Manstead, 2015). ...
... One insight is that people with high levels of social anxiety find it challenging to experience and communicate genuinely positive feelings, particularly in social-evaluative situations. People with high levels of social anxiety express a fear of being positively judged (Kashdan, Weeks and Savostyanova, 2011). Strangling positive emotions can help to diminish the importance of social thinking toward them, as well as efforts to build indicate connections through shared positive emotion expressions. ...
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The prevalence of 'Generalized Anxiety Disorder' among adults in Selangor, Malaysia is fewer. However, there are no specific data shown in Malaysia on 'Social Anxiety Disorder' among adolescents. Social anxiety is a critical factor in understanding social dysfunction, especially among adolescents in a group sample, as well as its interaction with capacitances in their emotional functioning. The overall aim of this research is to study social anxiety with respect to determining how social anxiety affects their emotions. It commences with a literature review, followed by the methodology, results, discussion, and conclusion. Methodology: In the current study, the researchers adapted the quantitative research technique. The purposive sampling method was used to obtain data from 200 youngsters within the age limit of 18 to 25 years old. A survey method is used to collect the data through the online platform. Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) was used in analyzing the data obtained from the respondents. Result and Discussion: The results revealed that there is a significant effect between social anxiety and emotion. Moreover, the study also found there is a difference in emotion-based on gender among teenagers. While there was no difference in social anxiety based on gender among the teenagers. Conclusion and Recommendation: However, the results of this study have been helpful in illustrating to teenagers the precise effect of social anxiety on their emotions, and they can strive toward restructuring the social environment to reduce the social strains and conflicts that are placed on adolescents. The purposive sampling method was used to obtain data from 200 youngsters within the age limit of 18 to 25 years old. A survey method is used to collect the data through the online platform. Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) was used in analysing the data obtained from the respondents. The results revealed that there is a significant effect between social anxiety and emotion. Moreover, the study also found there is a difference in emotion-based on gender among teenagers. While there was no difference in social anxiety based on gender among teenagers. However, the results of this study have been helpful in illustrating to teenagers the precise effect of social anxiety on their emotions, and they can strive toward re-structuring the social environment to reduce the social strains and conflicts that are placed on adolescents.
... Research using diary techniques and other retrospective methods shows that individuals with elevated social anxiety tend to experience blunted positive affect and, in some cases, report fewer and less intense positive events (Blanco & Joormann, 2017;T. A. Brown, Chorpita, & Barlow, 1998;Farmer & Kashdan, 2012;Geyer et al., 2018;Kashdan, 2002Kashdan, , 2007Kashdan & Breen, 2008;Kashdan & Collins, 2010;Kashdan & Steger, 2006;Kashdan, Weeks, & Savostyanova, 2011). For example, Farmer and Kashdan (2012) used 2 weeks of diary data to demonstrate that individuals with higher levels of social anxiety report significantly less intense positive affect in their daily lives. ...
... Hypothesis 2: Consistent with prior work by our group and others (e.g., T. A. Brown et al., 1998;Geyer et al., 2018;Kashdan & Collins, 2010;Kashdan & Steger, 2006;Kashdan et al., 2011), we anticipated that elevated social anxiety will be associated with lower average levels of happiness, social belonging, and social approach motivation, and higher average levels of anxiety and social avoidance motivation. We also expected that individuals with elevated trait social anxiety would perceive positive events during the past hour as less intense. ...
Article
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Understanding how individuals with varying levels of social anxiety respond to daily positive events is important. Psychological processes that increase positive emotions are being widely used as strategies to not only enhance well-being but also reduce the symptoms and impairment tied to negative emotional dispositions and conditions, including excessive social anxiety. At present, it is unclear whether and how levels of social anxiety impact the psychological benefits derived from momentary positive events. We used ecological momentary assessment to examine the impact of trait social anxiety on momentary changes in emotions, sense of belonging, and social approach versus avoidance motivation following positive events in daily life. Over the course of a week, people with elevated social anxiety experienced greater momentary anxiety and social avoidance motivation and lower momentary happiness and sense of belonging on average. Despite these impairments, individuals with elevated social anxiety experienced greater psychological benefits-in the form of reduced anxiety and motivation to avoid social situations, and an increased sense of belonging-following positive events during the past hour that were rated as particularly intense. This pattern of findings was not specific to social anxiety, with evidence of similar effects for other forms of internalizing psychopathology (general anxiety and depression). These observations detail circumstances in which individuals with social anxiety, and other emotional disturbances, can thrive-creating potentially important targets for intervention. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
... The limited resources of self-control theory posit that individuals' self-control strength depends on limited resources, and all self-control behaviors (including emotion regulation, mind control, and decision-making) consume the same resources (31). The depletion of self-control resources in some areas leads to a decline in self-control ability (32). One recent study showed that individuals with social anxiety risk poor self-control after social interaction (33). ...
Article
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Background and Aims Mobile phone addiction among college students has gained considerable research attention because of its adverse effects on their health and academic performance. However, little is known about the mechanisms underlying the relationship between shyness and mobile phone addiction among college students. Methods Four questionnaires were used to examine whether mobile phone addiction tendency was predicted by shyness and the mediating roles of social anxiety and self-control among 3,189 Chinese college students. Correlation and mediation analyses were conducted using Hayes PROCESS. Results The results showed that (1) social anxiety (indirect effect = 0.22, 95% CI = 0.18–0.26) and self-control (indirect effect = 0.23, 95% CI = 0.21–0.25) played a partial mediating role in the relationship between shyness and mobile phone addiction tendency; (2) social anxiety and self-control also mediated the link between shyness and mobile phone addiction tendency sequentially (indirect effect = 0.10, 95% CI = 0.09 to 0.12). Conclusion These results suggest that mobile phone addiction among shy college students could be eliminated by alleviating social anxiety and strengthening self-control.
... A review of social anxiety and positive experience highlights the current neglect of positive interpretations and thinking after social interactions as clinically relevant constructs (Kashdan et al. 2011). If high SA individuals learn to use alcohol to increase the frequency of positive post-event thoughts after social interactions, interventions should focus not only on strategies to reduce negative postevent rumination, but also on developing adaptive alternative strategies to increase positive post-event rumination. ...
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Background Social anxiety (SA) is highly comorbid with alcohol use disorder (AUD). Alcohol may be negatively reinforcing for SA individuals by dampening post-event rumination (i.e., negative rumination following social interactions). Prior research has supported this hypothesis with negative rumination. Depression, commonly comorbid with SA and AUD, also features rumination.Method Through secondary analyses, we examined the effects of alcohol consumption before an in-lab social interaction and depressive symptoms on both negative and positive post-event rumination about the interaction. Ninety-four high SA undergraduates were randomized to consume alcohol or no alcohol before the interaction; depressive symptoms were measured. Post-event rumination was measured three days later.ResultsThose higher (vs lower) in depressive symptoms reported more negative rumination. Those randomized to the alcohol (vs no alcohol) condition reported more positive rumination after the interaction.Conclusions Individuals with SA may find alcohol positively reinforcing by increasing positive post-event rumination, independent of negative reinforcement effects. Clinical implications are discussed.
... Theorists suggest that people with SAD believe they are inherently deficient or flawed, hold themselves to unreasonably high expectations, and overestimate the likelihood of social rejection (Moscovitch, 2009). This constellation of beliefs facilitates an avoidant style of emotion regulation, in which the motivation to avoid rejection overrides the motivation to pursue potential social rewards and valued goals (Kashdan, Weeks, & Savostyanova, 2011). Results of the present study suggest that another set of beliefs-emotion beliefs-might also be relevant to social anxiety. ...
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This study examines relationships between emotion beliefs and emotion regulation strategy use among people with social anxiety disorder (SAD) and a psychologically healthy control group. Using experience-sampling methodology, we tested group differences in 2 types of emotion beliefs (emotion control values and emotion malleability beliefs) and whether emotion beliefs predicted trait and daily use of cognitive reappraisal and emotion suppression. People with SAD endorsed higher emotion control values and lower emotion malleability beliefs than did healthy controls. Across groups, emotion control values were positively associated with suppression (but unrelated to reappraisal), and emotion malleability beliefs were negatively associated with suppression and positively associated with reappraisal. We also addressed 2 exploratory questions related to measurement. First, we examined whether trait and state measures of emotion regulation strategies were related to emotion control values in different ways and found similar associations across measures. Second, we examined whether explicit and implicit measures of emotion control values were related to daily emotion regulation strategy use in different ways-and found that an implicit measure was unrelated to strategy use. Results are discussed in the context of growing research on metaemotions and the measurement of complex features of emotion regulation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
... Moreover, FPE demonstrated strong relations to cognitive tendencies to disqualify positive outcomes (Weeks, 2010;Weeks & Howell, 2012), anxiety about social reprisal from positive feedback (Weeks & Howell, 2012;, and in-the-moment discomfort with positive feedback (Weeks et al., 2008b). Taken together, FPE may be an important factor that contributes to the positivity deficits among individuals with social anxiety (Kashdan et al., 2011). ...
... In particular, theorists posit that social anxiety is associated with a tendency to underestimate one's control over daily events (Hofmann 2005), including one's emotional experiences (Barlow 2002). These negative beliefs are theorized to be relatively fixed and to contribute to emotion dysregulation (Kashdan et al. 2011). It is not surprising then that social anxiety is also associated with fixed emotion beliefs, at least at the trait level. ...
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Background The extent to which a person believes they can change or control their own emotions is associated with trait-level symptoms of mood and anxiety-related psychopathology.Method The present study examined how this belief relates to momentary and daily self-reports of affect, emotion regulation tendencies, and perceived effectiveness of emotion regulation attempts throughout a five-week experience sampling study conducted in N = 113 high socially anxious people (https://osf.io/eprwt/).ResultsResults suggest that people with relatively stronger beliefs that their emotions are malleable experienced more momentary and daily positive affect (relative to negative affect), even after controlling for social anxiety symptom severity (although only daily positive affect, and not momentary positive affect, remained significant after correcting for false discovery rate). However, emotion malleability beliefs were not uniquely associated with other emotion regulation-related outcomes in daily life, despite theory suggesting malleability beliefs influence motivation to engage in emotion regulation.Conclusion The paucity of significant associations observed between trait malleability beliefs and momentary and daily self-reports of emotion regulation (despite consistent findings of such relationships at trait levels) calls for additional research to better understand the complex dynamics of emotion beliefs in daily life.
... To date, studies on EDs have not differentiated between the two components of the IB postulated by Amir (2008, 2009): the tendency to endorse negative interpretations and the tendency to reject positive interpretations. For participants with SAD, both threat bias and lack of positive IB (interpreting an ambiguous situation as neutral) have been found (Amir, Prouvost, & Kuckertz, 2012), with the former potentially resulting in avoidance of social situations and the latter in a decreased tendency to experience positive affect in such situations (Kashdan, Weeks, & Savotyanova, 2011). In contrast, a greater severity of GAD symptoms and worry was not found to be associated with a tendency to reject positive interpretations, but was related to endorsement of threat interpretations (Ogniewicz, Dugas, Langlois, Gosselin, & Koerner, 2014). ...
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Objective: Cognitive biases, such as memory, attention, and interpretation bias, are thought to play a central role in the development and maintenance of eating disorders (EDs). The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the interpretation bias is ED-specific or can be generalized to comorbid disorder-related threats in women with high levels of ED symptoms. Method: In an online study, we measured interpretation bias using the modified Sentence Word Association Paradigm (SWAP), comparing women with (n = 39) and without (sub)threshold eating disorders (n = 56). We assessed endorsement and rejection rates as well as reaction times in response to a positive/neutral or a negative ED-specific, social anxiety-specific (SAD), or generalized anxiety-specific (GAD) interpretive word following an ambiguous sentence. Results: In ambiguous situations, women with high ED symptoms selected more negative (p < .001) and fewer positive/neutral ED-related interpretations (p < .001). Negative interpretations were endorsed significantly faster (p < .001), while positive interpretations were rejected faster in this group (p < .001). These women also manifested negative SAD-specific interpretation bias patterns in reaction time measures. Nevertheless, ED severity was best predicted by the endorsement of negative ED-specific stimuli, whereas ED and SAD reaction time measures seemed to have a negligible effect. Discussion: The results indicate that the interpretation bias might be ED-specific. The SWAP can be a useful tool for the further investigation of the etiological relevance of the interpretation bias as well as for the development of modification training interventions.
... Levine, Schmidt, Kang, & Tinti, 2012;Schacter, Guerin, & St. Jacques, 2011;Wilson & Ross, 2003). A growing body of research has documented a variety of "positivity deficits" for people with higher levels of SA across a range of situations and experiences (Kashdan, 2007;Kashdan, Weeks, & Savostyanova, 2011). To this end, individuals with high SA or SAD have been shown to underestimate their social competence even in positive interactions (Kashdan, Morina, & Priebe, 2009), report fewer and less intense positive emotions in response to social experiences (Kashdan & Collins, 2010), endorse fewer everyday positive experiences relative to controls (Kashdan & Steger, 2006), and demonstrate reduced capacity to savour positive experiences of any nature (Eisner, Johnson, & Carver, 2009). ...
Article
Cognitive models of social anxiety disorder suggest that memory biases for negative social information contribute to symptoms of social anxiety (SA). However, it remains unclear whether memory biases in SA are related to social information, specifically, and if so, whether the valence of such information would moderate memory performance. In the present study, 197 community participants were randomised to imagine themselves as the central character in either 10 social or 10 non-social scenarios. In both conditions, half of the scenarios ended with objectively positive outcomes and half ended with objectively negative outcomes. Results demonstrated that higher trait SA was related to memory performance for social scenarios only, and in particular to poorer memory for social scenarios that ended positively. Thus, the impact of SA on memory performance depended on how social information was framed, with higher SA related to poorer memory for positive social experiences. These context-specific effects contribute to the growing literature on positivity deficits in SA.
... Furthermore, a meta-analysis found that social anxiety is negatively related to positive affect beyond what can be explained by co-occurring depression (Kashdan, 2007). Ecological momentary assessment studies also have found that highly socially anxious people experience less intense positive emotions both when with other people and when alone (Kashdan, Weeks, & Savostyanova, 2011). Moreover, individuals with social anxiety disorder tend to respond negatively to both negative and positive social evaluation (Weeks, Heimberg, Rodebaugh, & Norton, 2008;Weeks & Howell, 2014), suggesting that social events that are rewarding for most people may be processed differently by socially anxious individuals. ...
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Adaptive social behavior requires learning probabilities of social reward and punishment and updating these probabilities when they change. Given prior research on aberrant reinforcement learning in affective disorders, this study examines how social anxiety affects probabilistic social reinforcement learning and dynamic updating of learned probabilities in a volatile environment. Two hundred and twenty-two online participants completed questionnaires and a computerized ball-catching game with changing probabilities of reward and punishment. Dynamic learning rates were estimated to assess the relative importance ascribed to new information in response to volatility. Mixed-effects regression was used to analyze throw patterns as a function of social anxiety symptoms. Higher social anxiety predicted fewer throws to the previously punishing avatar and different learning rates after certain role changes, suggesting that social anxiety may be characterized by difficulty updating learned social probabilities. Socially anxious individuals may miss the chance to learn that a once-punishing situation no longer poses a threat.
... This indicates that dampening of pleasant emotions in particular may coincide with anxious arousal. Indeed, Kashdan, Weeks, and Savostyanova (2011) argue that habitual selfcontrol efforts associated with high anxiety may lead to blunted emotional processing of pleasant stimuli and events. In contrast, individuals who showed the ability to upregulate (enhance) pleasant emotions via the LPP tended to use reappraisal more frequently in daily life. ...
Article
A growing body of research has examined regulatory flexibility as the ability to dynamically modulate emotional expression and experience (Bonanno & Burton, 2013). The late positive potential (LPP), an event-related potential reflecting processing of emotionally-evocative stimuli, is sensitive to emotion regulation (ER) or the psychological processes that underlie the experience, expression, and management of emotions. However, few studies have used the LPP to index regulatory flexibility or tested its association with self-reported emotional well-being and ER. The results of the current study showed that regulatory flexibility indexed via the LPP was associated with self-reported use of specific ER strategies. Further, greater regulatory flexibility measured as the full LPP regulatory range (indexed following prompts to enhance and suppress emotional responses to stimuli) was specifically and uniquely associated with greater self-reported coping flexibility. Findings provide preliminary support for this neurocognitive approach to conceptualizing and assessing regulatory flexibility.
... Socially anxious individuals are prone to heightened fear, anxiety, and avoidance of social interactions and situations associated with potential scrutiny ( Alden and Taylor, 2004;Heimberg et al., 2014). In addition to heightened negative affect (NA), socially anxious individuals tend to report lower levels of positive affect (PA) (Anderson and Hope, 2008;Kashdan and Collins, 2010;Kashdan et al., 2011;Geyer et al., 2018). Social anxiety symptoms lie on a continuum and, when extreme, can become debilitating (Lipsitz and Schneier, 2000;Katzelnick et al., 2001;Kessler, 2003;Rapee and Spence, 2004;Craske et al., 2017;Stein et al., 2017;Krueger et al., 2018;Conway et al., 2019;Ruscio, 2019). ...
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Background Social anxiety lies on a continuum, and young adults with elevated symptoms are at risk for developing a range of psychiatric disorders. Yet relatively little is known about the factors that govern the hour-by-hour experience and expression of social anxiety in the real world. Methods Here we used smartphone-based ecological momentary assessment (EMA) to intensively sample emotional experience across different social contexts in the daily lives of 228 young adults selectively recruited to represent a broad spectrum of social anxiety symptoms. Results Leveraging data from over 11 000 real-world assessments, our results highlight the central role of close friends, family members, and romantic partners. The presence of such close companions was associated with enhanced mood, yet socially anxious individuals had fewer confidants and spent less time with the close companions that they do have. Although higher levels of social anxiety were associated with a general worsening of mood, socially anxious individuals appear to derive larger benefits – lower levels of negative affect, anxiety, and depression – from their close companions. In contrast, variation in social anxiety was unrelated to the amount of time spent with strangers, co-workers, and acquaintances; and we uncovered no evidence of emotional hypersensitivity to these less-familiar individuals. Conclusions These findings provide a framework for understanding the deleterious consequences of social anxiety in emerging adulthood and set the stage for developing improved intervention strategies.
... 95% CI [-.16, -.26]; Kashdan, 2007). These findings are paralleled with results harnessing longitudinal datasets, experimental designs, and structural equation modeling methods (Brown, Chorpita, & Barlow, 1998;Kashdan, Weeks, & Savostyanova, 2011;Khaza- nov & Ruscio, 2016;Sewart et al., 2019). Lack of explicit attention to the positive dimension of affect may in part explain less than optimal treatment response rates for CBT for SAD (see Loerinc et al., 2015). ...
Article
Traditional cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for anxiety disorders has been designed to target reductions in negative affect (NA) associated with defense-related processes. However, a subset of anxiety disorders, including social anxiety disorder (SAD), are also characterized by low positive affect (PA) resulting from separate deficits in appetitive-related processes. In contrast to CBT, “third-wave” approaches, such as acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), align more consistently with motivational processes and, as a result, PA. However, the differential effect of CBT and ACT on PA and NA has yet to be investigated. Using secondary data from a randomized controlled trial, the present study sought to compare CBT’s (n = 45) and ACT’s (n = 35) effect on PA and NA in SAD. Findings were compared to a wait-list (WL) control condition (n = 31), as well as normative data from a general adult sample. Baseline PA and NA were also examined as moderators and predictors of theory-relevant treatment outcomes. NA decreased significantly in both CBT and ACT from pre to posttreatment. Although ACT outperformed WL in reducing NA, this effect was not observed for CBT. PA increased significantly in both CBT and ACT from pre to posttreatment, with neither ACT nor CBT outperforming WL in increasing PA. Neither PA nor NA were found to moderate theoretically relevant treatment outcomes. Findings suggest that ACT and CBT share common treatment mechanisms, making them more similar than distinct. Further efforts should be focused on optimizing CBT’s and ACT’s influence on threat and reward learning, and elucidating common processes of change.
... Regarding positive indicators, studies have shown that adolescents' loneliness associates with lower self-esteem and life satisfaction (e.g., Cacioppo, Hughes, Waite, Hawkley, & Thisted, 2006;Çivitci & Çivitci, 2009;Kapıkıran, 2013). Likewise, adolescents' social anxiety associates with lower self-esteem and life satisfaction (Gómez-Ortiz, Roldán, Ortega-Ruiz, & García- López, 2018;Kashdan, Weeks, & Savostyanova, 2011, for a review). Although such studies have enriched understanding of adolescents' mental health, some research questions remain regarding the relations between loneliness and social anxiety and comprehensive mental health (i.e., positive and negative indicators of mental health), other than the previously mentioned methodological limitations. ...
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The research examined whether clusters of loneliness and social anxiety could be identified through latent profile analysis in a longitudinal study of 892 Chinese adolescents (47.8% male), on average 12.96 (SD = 0.62) years old. Six clusters were identified: (a) low loneliness and social anxiety, (b) average loneliness and social anxiety, (c) high social anxiety and low loneliness, (d) high loneliness and low social anxiety, (e) moderate loneliness and social anxiety, and (f) high loneliness and social anxiety. Findings indicated that baseline family dysfunction and school-related stress served as risk factors for membership in the clusters representing higher levels of loneliness and social anxiety compared to the low cluster. Controlling for the baseline levels of respective outcomes, 6 clusters were differentially related to subsequent comprehensive mental health outcomes, underscoring the importance of the roles of both the loneliness and social anxiety processes in adolescents' mental health. Furthermore, these findings indicated that the interactions between social anxiety and loneliness within individuals were differentially related to levels of comprehensive mental health outcomes, implying the need for intervention programs to be tailored to the members of the specific clusters. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
... anxiety and PTSD), individuals with depression exhibit the highest level of positive devaluation (for a review, see Winer and Salem 2016). Besides RCPR and RDT, other frameworks, such as the self-regulation framework for depression (Kashdan et al. 2011), also conceptualize ER as a core underlying contributing factors for depression. ...
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Environmental reward (ER) is an established mechanism contributing to depression. Given the high prevalence of depression in China and Taiwan, it is important to develop measures that facilitate the examination of cultural similarities and differences in ER. The reward probability index (RPI) assesses ER through items measuring individual access to rewarding (Reward Probability) and aversive (Environmental Suppressor) events. The purpose of the current study is to translate the RPI into Chinese (C-RPI) and to study cultural difference in ER by examining structural- and item-level differences in RPI functioning. A total of 930 college students were recruited from China (n = 300), Taiwan (n = 300), and the United States (n = 330). Confirmatory factor analysis was used to study the configural invariance of the RPI and C-RPI. Item response theory-based differential item functioning (DIF) testing was used to study item level differences in functioning between the RPI and C-RPI. Results overall support the established RPI structure in all three regions. Most Reward Probability items exhibit no DIF across cultures, while most Environmental Suppressor items exhibit DIF across cultures. Findings highlight cultural difference in ER constructs and cultural factors contributing to the observed DIF. The assessment and clinical implications of the findings are also discussed.
... For example, an introvert who desires to be more extroverted would be advised by the theory to expose him/herself to many instances of extroversion phenomena (parties of various size, social gathering of varying intensity, brief and extended one-on-one interactions) until he or she becomes sensitive to the distinctions among them. Studies have shown that exposure to many reinforcing social events (i.e., extroversion CR-phenomena) is effective at increasing ones comfort with and competence in managing social contexts, thus increasing ones standing on the extroversion construct (Anderson et al., 2013;Kashdan, Weeks, & Savostyanova, 2011). General acuity theory proposes that with practice and exposure to many examples of CR phenomena comes familiarity, comfortableness, development of coping strategies, and ultimately increased standing on the construct. ...
Article
The measurement of non-cognitive constructs (e.g., openness, honesty, and self-esteem) using introspective self-report has often been criticized for its vulnerability to validity-reducing response distortion. In this article, we present a theory of general acuity as an extension of Leeds’s (2012, 2018) theory of cognitive acuity. General acuity theory proposes that the higher a person’s standing on any mentally held construct, the more sensitive the person will be to distinctions in phenomena associated with that construct. If true, then it may be possible to measure standing on any construct by observing the person’s sensitivity to distinctions in many paired instances of the phenomena. We thus define general acuity as sensitivity to distinctions in construct-relevant (CR) phenomena as evidence of one’s standing on that construct and point out that the response demand being made is based on signal detection and not introspective self report. We report three studies of the (a) customer service orientation of Spanish sales personnel, (b) agreeableness of U.S. college students, and (c) conscientiousness of U.S. public service coordinators. In each study, we used paired CR statements and adjectives to present respondents with a series of CR signal contrasts to detect. We used psychophysical methods to estimate respondents’ construct signal sensitivity (i.e., acuity) and to assess test attentiveness and show that CR acuity is related to independent measures of the target constructs. We present the psychophysical framework, measurement procedures, and criterion/construct-related validity evidence for a general acuity theory, making the case for a common psychometric theory underpinning all cognitive and non-cognitive measurement.
... Effect sizes for cross-sectional and longitudinal relationships between positive affect and anxiety are significant and indistinguishable from corresponding effect sizes for positive affect and depression (Khazanov & Ruscio, 2016;Kotov, Gamez, Schmidt, & Watson, 2010). Moreover, in experimental paradigms, hedonic impairments have been observed in social anxiety disorder (Kashdan, Weeks, & Savostyanova, 2011), posttraumatic stress disorder (Hopper et al., 2008;Litz, Orsillo, Kaloupek, & Weathers, 2000), and generalized anxiety disorder (Srivastava, Sharma, & Mandal, 2003), including youth samples (Morris, Bylsma, Yaroslavsky, Kovacs, & Rottenberg, 2015). ...
Article
Objective: Loss of pleasure or interest in activities (i.e., anhedonia) is a risk factor for suicidality, treatment nonresponse, and relapse. Extant treatments that focus on reducing negative affect have limited effects upon positive affect (a core feature of anhedonia). We investigated whether a novel intervention aimed at increasing reward sensitivity was more efficacious for positive affect than a cognitive-behavior treatment aimed at reducing threat sensitivity, in individuals with clinically severe symptoms of depression or anxiety, and functional impairment. Method: The Treatment for Affective Dimensions trial was offered in a 2-site randomized study at outpatient treatment centers in Los Angeles and Dallas. Ninety-six patients were randomized to 15 weekly, individual sessions of Positive Affect Treatment (PAT) or Negative Affect Treatment (NAT). The primary outcome was improvement in positive affect (Positive and Negative Affect Schedule-Positive) from pretreatment to 6-month follow-up (6MFU). Secondary outcomes were improvements in negative affect (Positive and Negative Affect Schedule-Negative), suicidal ideation, and symptoms (Depression Anxiety Stress Scales). Results: PAT resulted in greater improvements in positive affect, p = .009, d = .52, and higher positive affect at 6MFU, p = .002, d = .67, than NAT. Participants in PAT also reported lower negative affect, p = .033, d = .52, and lower symptoms of depression, p = .035, d = .34, anxiety, p < .018, d = .30, and stress, p = .006, d = .43 at 6MFU. Finally, probability of suicidal ideation at 6MFU was lower in PAT than NAT (1.7% vs. 12.0%), p < .001. Conclusions: Compared to NAT, PAT demonstrated better outcomes (at 6MFU) on positive affect, depression, anxiety, stress, and suicidal ideation, for patients with symptomatic pretreatment levels of these outcomes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
... However, they are far less effective as a singular approach than in concert with others. Critical studies downplay CBT's effectiveness (David et al., 2018;Kashdan et al., 2011), arguing it fares no better than non-CBT programs. ...
... Up to 75% of individuals with major depressive disorder report anhedonia (Franken et al. 2007). Anhedonia is a transdiagnostic symptom, in that it extends beyond major depression to social anxiety disorder and generalized anxiety disorder (Kashdan et al. 2011), as well as schizophrenia (Watson and Naragon-Gainey 2010) and substance use disorder (Thomsen et al. 2015). Although anhedonia is also relevant to other disorders, this chapter focuses on psychological treatments for anhedonia primarily in the context of depression and anxiety. ...
Article
Anhedonia, a loss of interest or pleasure in activities, is a transdiagnostic symptom that characterizes many individuals suffering from depression and anxiety. Most psychological interventions are designed to decrease negative affect rather than increase positive affect, and are largely ineffective for reducing anhedonia. More recently, affective neuroscience has been leveraged to inform treatments for anhedonia by targeting aspects of the Positive Valence Systems, including impairments in reward anticipation, reward responsiveness, and reward learning. In this chapter, we review the efficacy of treatments and, when possible, highlight links to reward constructs. Augmented behavioral approaches and targeted cognitive interventions designed to target reward anticipation, responsiveness, and learning show preliminary efficacy in reducing anhedonia, while there is a relative lack of treatments that target positive emotion regulation and reward devaluation. In addition to developing treatments that address these targets, the field will benefit from establishing standardized measurement of anhedonia across units of analysis, mapping mechanisms of change onto aspects of reward processing, and examining anhedonia outcomes in the long-term.
... 明确感到社交焦虑 [2] ,且社交媒体焦虑会产生降低社交倾向 [3] 、降低自我表露意向 [4] 、滋生 网络被害恐惧感 [5] 等消极影响。由此可见,社交媒体焦虑业已成为一项青少年社会化过程中 影响身心健康发展的潜在威胁。然而遗憾的是,目前国内学界大都将研究重点置于线下的学 业焦虑 [6] 、职业焦虑 [7] 、现实人际焦虑 [8] 等议题,缺乏对于社交媒体焦虑形成机制的实证归 因。因此,本研究聚焦于大学生社交媒体焦虑的影响因素和形成机制的剖析,以期更加精准 的对线上社交焦虑进行缓解和预防,进而提出改善大学生的身心健康的循证对策。 自我控制(Self-control),作为个体人格结构当中自我调控系统的组成部分之一 [9] ,是 指个体因抑制或克服自身的欲望、需求而改变固有的或者习惯的行为、思维的方式的过程 [10] 。自我控制理论(Self-control theory)指出,自我控制水平较低的个体通常倾向于从事可 带来短期利益的行为并忽视该行为所造成的长期消极后果 [11] ,且低自我控制会削弱个体在 社交情境中可能经历的积极体验与正向结果,从而加剧其社交焦虑症状 [12] 。换句话说,由 于社会焦虑的个体试图控制他们的焦虑,并且努力从事能够使自身避免被社会排斥的行为, 而这种控制机能的缺乏遂致使其难以得到由积极社会互动而产生的良性回报 [13] 。网络社交 媒体作为一项当下青少年生活的必需品,能够在短时间内迅速满足个体的信息需求、娱乐需 求、交往需求,在稳定的自我控制系统尚未形成之时,延迟享受障碍会给青少年群体的长期 目标实现增设诸多干扰因素。当个体因过度透支长期、系统性个人目标而导致的自我心理预 期与他人对自己的预期相冲突时,其对于线上焦虑感可能也会相继提升。由此,本研究提出 假 H1:低自我控制对大学生社交媒体焦虑具有显著正向影响。 ...
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Objective: The current study aims to explore the relationship among low self-control, Tiktok intensity, and social media anxiety and test the moderating effects of bridging social capital and bonding social capital on the mediation paths. Methods: A sample of 743 university students were recruited in the study to complete the questionnaires of low self-control, Tiktok intensity, social anxiety of social media, and social capital, and the study using structural equation model and Johnson-Neyman analysis to test hypothesis. Results: Low self-control has a significant and direct effect on social media anxiety (β = 0.381, P<0.001) and a significant indirect effect through Tiktok intensity (β = 0.101, P<0.05; β = 0.157, P<0.001). Bridging social capital and bonding social capital could significantly and negatively moderate the effect of Tiktok intensity on social media anxiety. Conclusions: Tiktok intensity acts as a mediator between low self-control and social anxiety of social media, while bridging social capital and bonding social capital play protective roles in the effects of Tiktok intensity on social media anxiety.
... However, considering findings suggesting low trait positive affectivity in SAD (Kashdan, 2007;Kashdan, Weeks, & Savostyanova, 2011), and studies documenting biases in the processing of positive stimuli (Frewen, Dozois, Joanisse, & Neufeld, 2008;Taylor, Bomyea, & Amir, 2010), researchers have begun to explore whether anxiety may also be characterized by abnormal reward responses. Results from investigations probing reward processing in anxious samples have indeed indicated altered neural responses to social and monetary rewards (Bar-Haim et al., 2009;Forbes et al., 2006;Guyer et al., 2006;Richey et al., 2014;Silk, Davis, McMakin, Dahl, & Forbes, 2012). ...
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Objective: Increasing evidence supports the presence of an anhedonic endophenotype in major depressive disorder (MDD), characterized by impairments in various components of reward processing, particularly incentive motivation, effort-based decision making, and reward learning. In addition to its prominent role in MDD, reward processing dysregulation has been proposed as a transdiagnostic risk and/or maintenance factor for a range of other forms of psychopathology. Individuals with social anxiety disorder (SAD)-a condition that frequently co-occurs with MDD-demonstrate low trait positive affectivity and altered processing of rewards and positively valenced information. However, no studies to date have directly tested reward learning-the ability to modulate behavior in response to rewards-in this population. Materials and methods: The current study evaluated reward learning in MDD, SAD, and healthy control subjects (N = 90) using a well-validated signal detection task. Given increasing data supporting transdiagnostic features of psychopathology, we also evaluated associations between anhedonia and task performance transdiagnostically in the patient sample. Results: Contrary to expectations, results indicated no significant group differences in response bias in the full sample, suggesting no diagnostic differences in reward learning. However, dimensional analyses revealed that higher self-reported anhedonia (but not general distress or anxious arousal) was associated with worse reward learning in both the MDD and SAD groups explaining about 11% of the variance. Conclusion: Deficits in implicit reward learning are associated with anhedonia but not necessarily with major depressive disorder as a diagnosis, which supports the use of transdiagnostic approaches to understanding psychopathology.
... There is little literature exploring positive perceptions and implications of anxiety. Kashdan et al. [122] suggest that social anxiety may play a role in shaping positive experiences and events. In Parkinson's populations, Sotgiu and Rusconi [123] suggest that investigating the positive experiences of emotional events, such as anxiety, could lead to a greater understanding of the complex emotional landscape experienced by PWPs. ...
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Purpose Anxiety is a common non-motor symptom of Parkinson’s and there is no specific pharmacological intervention for people with Parkinson’s who experience anxiety. Yet there is little specific research documenting how individuals with this condition experience anxiety. It is important to explore the experiences of people with Parkinson’s to identify potential issues in developing future non-pharmacological interventions. This study explored the lived experience of anxiety for people with Parkinson’s. Materials and methods Six participants were recruited into a descriptive phenomenological study, through the charity Parkinson’s UK, using a maximum variation sampling strategy. Face to face interviews were conducted. Data analysis employed thematic analysis. Results Three key themes encapsulated the data: Finding ways to cope to “Try not to let it rule your life”, Amplifies symptoms “It’s emotionally draining it it’s also physically draining” and “Anxiety is a funny thing” experienced in myriad ways. A model of the experience of PWP experience of anxiety is proposed. Conclusions Anxiety is a complex experience constructed of interlinked parts affecting people with Parkinson’s in myriad ways. Researchers and healthcare professionals should take these findings into account when designing future studies and interventions.
... Despite persistent and chronic deficits in PA (Kashdan, Weeks, & Savostyanova, 2011), people with SAD may derive enhanced emotional benefits from social experiences. The "mood brightening" effect is a phenomenon in which people with mood difficulties experience greater emotional benefits from positive experiences than people without mood difficulties. ...
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Quality contact with other people serves as a reliable mood enhancement strategy. We wondered if the emotional benefits of socializing are present even for those with a psychological disorder defined by social distress and avoidance: social anxiety disorder (SAD). We conducted two ecological momentary assessment (EMA) studies and analyzed 7,243 total surveys. In both studies, community adults diagnosed with SAD and healthy controls received five surveys each day for two weeks. Consistent with research on positivity deficits in SAD, between-person analyses in both studies suggest that, on average, participants with SAD reported lower positive and higher negative affect in social and non-social situations than healthy controls. Within-person analyses, however, revealed that in both studies participants with SAD and healthy controls reported higher positive affect when with others than when alone; no differences were found for negative affect. The difference in positive affect between social and nonsocial situations was smaller for participants with SAD in Study 1, suggesting that people with SAD may experience diminished reward responding when socializing. Our results suggest that even those with a mental illness defined by interpersonal distress can and do derive positive emotions from social interactions.
... An experimental study showed that due to greater hypersensitivity to social punishment, people with social anxiety may have greater difficulty adapting to increased social reinforcement after being rejected by someone (or perceiving they were) even when that person later becomes more rewarding (36). This overactivation of avoidance goals may be part of why people with SAD tend to interpret positive social stimuli in threatening ways (30) and show increased fear of positive evaluation from others (37). For example, people with SAD often react to positive feedback by expecting that their partner will expect more from them in the next interaction and that they will fall short of those expectations (38,39). ...
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Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is a prevalent and often debilitating psychiatric disorder that can assume a chronic course even when treated. Despite the identification of evidence-based pharmacological and behavioral treatments for SAD, much room for improved outcomes exists and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) has been proposed as a promising adjunctive treatment to psychological interventions for disorders characterized by social dysfunction. A small randomized, placebo-controlled trial of MDMA-assisted therapy (MDMA-AT) for social anxiety in autistic adults offered encouraging results, but more research is sorely needed to explore the potential for MDMA-AT in treating SAD. This review aims to stimulate future study by summarizing research on disruptions in neurological, perceptual, receptive, and expressive systems regulating social behavior in SAD and proposing how MDMA-AT may alter these systems across four domains. First, we review research highlighting the roles of social anhedonia and reduced social reward sensitivity in maintaining SAD, with specific attention to the reduction in positive affect in social situations, infrequent social approach behaviors, and related social skills deficits. We posit that MDMA-AT may enhance motivation to connect with others and alter perceptions of social reward for an extended period following administration, thereby potentiating extinction processes, and increasing the reinforcement value of social interactions. Second, we review evidence for the central role of heightened social evaluative threat perception in the development and maintenance of SAD and consider how MDMA-AT may enhance experiences of affiliation and safety when interacting with others. Third, we consider the influence of shame and the rigid application of shame regulation strategies as important intrapersonal processes maintaining SAD and propose the generation of self-transcendent emotions during MDMA sessions as a mechanism of shame reduction that may result in corrective emotional experiences and boost memory reconsolidation. Finally, we review research on the role of dysfunctional interpersonal behaviors in SAD that interfere with social functioning and, in particular, the development and maintenance of close and secure relationships. We discuss the hypothesized role of MDMA-AT in improving social skills to elicit positive interpersonal responses from others, creating a greater sense of belonging, acceptance, and social efficacy.
... This broader body of work therefore highlights the possibility that childhood maltreatment may trigger systemic inflammation later in life through its connection with affective disorders that involve anhedonia, or loss of interest or pleasure toward stimuli that were previously perceived as rewarding (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Whereas most work exploring connections between anhedonia and inflammation has focused on depression (Danese et al., 2008), more recent work has highlighted that social anxiety comprises an anhedonic component (e.g., Kashdan et al., 2011). Additionally, recent work has indicated that anhedonia within social anxiety is observed more frequently amongst adult survivors of childhood maltreatment (e.g., Simon et al., 2009). ...
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Prior work has established a robust association between childhood maltreatment and systemic inflammatory activation later in life; however, the mechanisms involved in this process remain incompletely understood. The purpose of this investigation was to examine potential mechanistic roles for social anxiety (SA) symptoms and low positive affect (PA) in the path from childhood maltreatment to elevations in circulating interleukin (IL)-6, a common biomarker of inflammatory activation. In addition, building on prior work establishing linkages between mindful awareness and reductions in systemic inflammation, we examined the potential role of trait mindfulness as a moderator of the relationships among childhood maltreatment, SA, low PA, and IL-6. A serial mediation model utilizing a large epidemiologic dataset (final N = 527) supported our central hypothesis that the direct effect of childhood maltreatment on IL-6 was fully serially statistically mediated by SA symptoms and low PA (but not high negative affect). Additionally, results indicated that individuals falling in the upper versus lower quartiles of SA symptoms demonstrated significantly elevated concentrations of IL-6, a finding that has not been previously reported. Trait mindfulness moderated the association between low PA and IL-6, to the exclusion of any paths related to negative affect. Additionally, results indicated that the effect of child maltreatment on IL-6 bypasses SA to indirectly impact IL-6 via negative affect. Overall, we conclude that childhood maltreatment and SA symptoms have a significant influence on IL-6, albeit indirectly via low PA, and the influence of PA on IL-6 may be uniquely susceptible to influence by individual differences in mindfulness.
... Finally, we did not find a notable difference between how social anxiety is related to positive and negative social events to support a valence-related bias, as hypothesised by several theoretical accounts, such as the "positivity deficit" hypothesis, which states that social anxiety is associated with degraded memories of positive social events (Kashdan et al., 2011). ...
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Research on memory bias in social anxiety has yielded contradictory results, pointing to the possibility of important but neglected moderators and confounding factors. This study aimed to investigate the link between social anxiety and autobiographical memory performance for social and nonsocial events, while controlling for and evaluating the effects of several factors including event valence, type of memory detail, and, most noticeably, in-event state anxiety, as well as the interactions between them. Forty-eight students retrieved a total of 191 memories and rated their memory clarity of each event. In a hierarchical linear model, state anxiety predicted higher memory clarity, especially of self-referential details. Trait social anxiety had a significant decreasing effect only on the memory of sensorial details. Furthermore, a multilevel mediation analysis revealed an indirect enhancement effect of social anxiety on the memory of self-referential details, mediated by state anxiety; importantly, the direct and indirect effects were in the opposite directions, pointing to a possible suppression effect. This study suggests that in research on memory bias in social anxiety, not including state anxiety may distort the results. Furthermore, it seems that social anxiety and state anxiety do not affect different types of memory details equally.
... Future work could also test for a causal relationship between impaired "dopaminergic" salience processing and anhedonia. Social anxiety includes components of anhedonia and anxiousness (Brown, Chorpita & Barlow, 1998;Kashdan, 2007;Kashdan, Weeks & Savostyanova, 2011). If the dopamine system was indeed involved, we predict that anhedonia in socially shy participants was the underlying cause of the relationship between salience processing and shyness observed here. ...
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Like socio-economic status and cognitive abilities, personality traits predict important life outcomes. Traits that reflect unusually low or high approach motivations, such as low extraversion and high disinhibition, are linked to various forms of mental disorder. Similarly, the dopamine system is theoretically linked to approach motivation traits and to various forms of mental disorder. Identifying neural contributions to extremes of such traits should map to neural sources of psychopathology, with dopamine a prime candidate. Notably, dopamine cells fire in response to unexpected reward, which suggests that the size of non-invasive, scalp-recorded potentials evoked by unexpected reward could reflect sensitivity in approach motivation traits. Here, we evaluated the validity of evoked electroencephalography (EEG) responses to unexpected reward in a monetary gain/loss task to assess approach motivation traits in 137 participants, oversampled for externalizing psychopathology symptoms. We demonstrated that over the 0–400 ms period in which feedback on the outcome was presented, responses evoked by unexpected reward contributed to all theoretically relevant approach motivation trait domains (disinhibition, extraversion and the behavioural activation system); and did so only at times when dopamine responses normally peak and reportedly code salience (70–100 ms) and valuation (200–300 ms). In particular, we linked “dopaminergic” salience and valuation to the psychopathology-related constructs of low extraversion (social anxiety) and high disinhibition (impulsivity) respectively, making the evoked potential components biomarker candidates for indexing aberrant processing of unexpected reward.
... Participants completed a measure of social comparison after browsing each profile and completed measures of affect and state self-esteem before and after the browsing task. Although others have conceptualized affect in terms of overall affect balance, we separated positive affect (PA) from negative affect (NA) to account for social anxiety's distinct relationships with each (e.g., Kashdan et al., 2011). We hypothesized that higher social anxiety would be associated with lower, and greater decreases in, rank perceptions while browsing influencer profiles. ...
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Individuals with social anxiety are sensitive to social hierarchies and tend to compare themselves unfavorably with others, perceiving themselves as inferior or lower in social rank. The current study explores patterns of change in these negative perceptions, and their associated emotional outcomes, in an online social context. Undergraduate students (N = 291) browsed the profiles of eight Instagram influencers and completed a measure of social comparison after viewing each profile, yielding multiple ratings of their own perceived social rank. Participants completed measures of affect and state self-esteem before and after the profile browsing task. Higher social anxiety predicted lower, and greater declines in, social rank self-perceptions during browsing. Higher social anxiety also predicted greater decreases in positive affect, increases in negative affect, and decreases in state self-esteem from the beginning to the end of the browsing task. Low baseline rank perceptions contributed to change in all three emotional variables. Decreases in rank perceptions contributed further to decreases in positive affect and appearance-related self-esteem. This study elaborates on cognitive-evolutionary theory, suggesting that the inferiority self-perceptions of socially anxious individuals translate to online social contexts, may be strengthened with increased exposure to such contexts, and may have a detrimental emotional impact. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
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Flexible use of emotion regulation (ER) strategies in daily life is theorized to depend on appraisals of occurring stressful events. Yet, to date, little is known about (a) how appraisals of the current situation modulate the use of ER strategies in daily life and (b) how individual differences in affective symptoms impact these relations among appraisals and ER strategy use. This study attempted to address these two limitations using a 5-day experience sampling protocol, with three surveys administered per day in a sample of 97 participants. Each survey measured momentary appraisals of stress intensity and controllability as well as ER strategy use (i.e., rumination, reappraisal, avoidance, and active coping). Results showed that, in situations of low-stress intensity, higher stress controllability was related to greater use of reappraisal and rumination. In situations of high-stress intensity, higher controllability was related to reduced use of rumination. This pattern of flexible use of ER strategies depending on momentary stress appraisals was found for both rumination and avoidance and occurred specifically in individuals reporting lower levels of depression and/or anxiety levels. These findings provide new insight into how flexible use of ER strategies in daily life is modulated by interactions between stress intensity and controllability appraisals at varying levels of affective symptoms.
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Objective: Although previous studies have demonstrated the association between social anxiety symptom severity and the tendency to appraise positive social events negatively among individuals with social anxiety disorder, no study has examined mediators of this relationship. The current study sought to examine whether intolerance of uncertainty and its subfactors mediate the relationship between social interaction anxiety and the tendency to interpret positive social events negatively. Method: One hundred and sixty-five individuals with social anxiety disorder completed measures of social interaction anxiety symptom severity, intolerance of uncertainty, and negative interpretations of positive social events. Results: Total intolerance of uncertainty and the inhibitory-intolerance of uncertainty subscale scores significantly mediated the relationship between social interaction anxiety and negative interpretations of positive events. Exploratory post-hoc analyses regarding the possible contributing role of depression demonstrated mixed results. The same mediation pattern was found in the full sample as well as those without a secondary comorbid mood disorder diagnosis. In contrast, serial mediation showed a mediating role of depressive symptom severity. Conclusion: Inhibitory-intolerance of uncertainty plays a role in the relationship between social interaction anxiety and negative interpretations of positive social events.
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Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is a common and impairing condition that emerges in early adolescence, confers significant interpersonal disability and often persists into adulthood. Prevailing interventions for socially anxious youth are largely based on cognitive-behavioral models originally developed in adult samples, but produce only modest rates of remission in adolescents. The purposes of this review are to examine plausible explanations for these modest rates of treatment response and to critically evaluate the relevance of developmental mechanisms related to reward circuitry function. In doing so, we propose Sensitivity Shift Theory (SST), an integrated theoretical model addressing the development of social anhedonia in a meaningful subset of adolescents and adults with SAD. The central prediction of SST involves a shift, or developmental transition from social sensitivity during the late childhood/early adolescent period into later-emerging social anhedonia that includes reductions in positive affect, infrequent social approach behaviors and social skills deficits. We further provide a complementary mechanistic account by which these newly identified processes may be addressed using available evidence-based treatments that influence positive affect, including mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs). Collectively, SST provides a mechanisms-focused framework for explaining relatively modest rates of response to current front-line treatments in socially anxious youth, as well as discrepant observations in SAD samples of both high- and low- levels of social motivation depending on developmental factors and learning history.
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Purpose Due to ongoing significant life changes during the transition into higher education, social anxiety can be problematic, especially for college students. It has adverse effects on various aspects of one’s life, including one’s feelings and emotions. The study investigated the interplay between social anxiety and emotions and its impact on affect. The aim of this study is to examine the role of difficulties in emotion regulation in the relationship between social anxiety and change in affect. Design/methodology/approach This is a longitudinal study. Data was collected with self-report instruments at two time points with a gap of four months. Participants were Indian undergraduate students from a technical institute. Findings The result revealed that high social anxiety in tandem with difficulties engaging in goal-directed behavior significantly impacts changes in positive affect. However, this effect was significant only in the presence of depression. Research limitations/implications This study highlights the harmful impact of comorbid issues such as depression in socially anxious individuals. The present study might have implications for educators and clinicians working with college students. Originality/value To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the only study to test the proposed research model in a sample of Indian college students. The use of a moderated moderation analysis with the three regulation strategies and depression also adds to the uniqueness of this study.
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The Pavlovian-Instrumental Transfer (PIT) paradigm examines probabilistic and reinforcement learning. Disruptions in mechanisms that mediate PIT (i.e., cues not triggering adaptive behaviors) are thought to be contributors to psychopathology, making the study of probabilistic and reinforcement learning clinically relevant. The current study evaluated an appetitive PIT effect and its relationship with symptom dimensions spanning depression and anxiety, with a particular focus on anhedonia. Forty young adults ranging in scores across dimensions of depression and anxiety symptoms completed the PIT paradigm and self-report symptom measures. The PIT paradigm consisted of three phases. The instrumental phase consisted of a contingent association in which participants squeezed a handgrip for monetary reward. The Pavlovian phase established a purely predictive association between three visual stimuli (CS + , CS-, baseline) and presence or absence of monetary reward. In the transfer phase, participants’ responses allowed for examination of whether motivational characteristics of Pavlovian predictors influenced the vigor of their handgrip squeezes (instrumental action), which were formerly independent of Pavlovian associations. Analyses revealed a baseline-reward PIT effect, whereby a reward-associated Pavlovian cue enhanced instrumental responding in the transfer phase. However, there were no significant differences between CS + and CS- or CS- and baseline cues, suggesting a disrupted interaction of Pavlovian and instrumental learning. Further, the appetitive PIT effect captured in this paradigm was not associated with anhedonia, fears, or general distress. Future work should investigate the influence of mood states using more specific appetitive PIT paradigms to further understanding of the implications of disrupted reflexive and instrumental responding.
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Cognitive Reactivity (CR), an established diathesis for depression, has been defined as the within-person strength of association between sad affect and dysfunctional attitudes. Watson and Tellegen (1985) proposed that sad affect is a combination of high negative affect (NA) and low positive affect (PA). The current study integrated the CR and the affect literatures by examining the differential and conjoint roles of cognitive reactivity to high negative affect (CR-highNA) and cognitive reactivity to low positive affect (CR-lowPA). In the current study, college student participants completed daily diary measures of CR-highNA, CR-lowPA, and CR to sadness (CR-Sad). Results showed that naturally occurring NA and PA accounted for the relation of sadness to dysfunctional cognitions. Further, the relation of depressive symptoms to CR-Sad was explained by high levels of CR-highNA and CR-lowPA. Born out of the integration of research on CR and affective structures, the current results have implications for both theory and treatment of depression.
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The mapping of developmental relations between social cognition and real‐world social behaviors has theoretical and practical importance. In the domain of social anxiety, however, studies examining links between social cognitive ability and anxiety have produced mixed results. One potential explanation is that varied facets of social cognition are differentially linked to social anxiety across development. To better understand how social cognition relates to social anxiety, we assessed multiple facets of two important social‐cognitive capacities, mind‐mindedness and theory of mind,in school‐aged children aged 7‐12 and young adults aged 18‐24. We also measured social anxiety traits. We found that, across ages, mind‐mindedness and theory of mind were not related to each other. Additionally, for children and adults, higher levels of social anxiety correlated with higher levels of mind‐mindedness toward close social partners, indicating an increased propensity to describe partners using mental state terms.In contrast, social anxiety was not correlated with theory of mind, which measured the ability to decipher or attribute mental states to photographs, videos, or story characters. These findings offer insight into how different components of social cognition are related and how more naturalistic measures of social cognition involving relationships may relate tosocial anxiety across development.
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A substantial literature indicates that anxiety is often associated with selec- tive attention to threat cues. Socially anxious individuals are excessively concerned about negative evaluation by others. One might therefore predict that high social anxiety would be associated with selective attention to negative facial expressions. On the other hand, some recent models have suggested that social anxiety may be associated with reduced processing of external social cues. A modi® ed dot-probe task was used to investigate face attention. High and low socially anxious individuals were presented with pairs of pictures, consisting of a face (positive, neutral, or negative) and a household object, under conditions of social-evaluative threat or no threat. The results indicated that, compared to low socially anxious individuals, high socially anxious individuals show an attentional bias away from emotional (positive and negative) faces but this effect is only observed under conditions of social-evaluative threat. Theoretical and clinical implications of the results are discussed.
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Over twenty years of research have examined the cognitive consequences of positive affect states, and suggested that positive affect leads to a broadening of cognition (see review by Fredrickson, 2001). However, this research has primarily examined positive affect that is low in approach motivational intensity (e.g., contentment). More recently, we have systematically examined positive affect that varies in approach motivational intensity, and found that positive affect high in approach motivation (e.g., desire) narrows cognition, whereas positive affect low in approach motivation broadens cognition (e.g., Gable & Harmon-Jones, 2008a21. Gable , P. A. and Harmon-Jones , E. 2008a . Approach-motivated positive affect reduces breadth of attention . Psychological Science , 19 : 476 – 482 . [CrossRef], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®]View all references; Harmon-Jones & Gable, 2009). In this article we will review past models and present a motivational dimension model of affect that expands understanding of how affective states influence attentional and cognitive breadth. We then review research that has varied the motivational intensity of positive and negative affect and found that affect of low motivational intensity broadens cognitive processes, whereas affect of high motivational intensity narrows cognitive processes.
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Positive psychologists have developed a variety of techniques to increase well-being. This study explored whether preferences for some interventions are linked to preferences for other interventions. A total of 792 participants received up to six positive psychology exercises. After each exercise, participants indicated their preference for each exercise and how often they engaged in it. A factor analysis of these scores revealed three groupings of subjective preferences: active-constructive responding and savoring; blessings and life summary; and gratitude visit and strengths. Individuals who had high preference for an exercise were more likely to complete the exercise. Implications for application of positive psychology exercises and future recommendations are discussed including the use of such a framework for tailoring custom programs of interventions.
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Counseling psychologists often work with clients to increase their well-being as well as to decrease their distress. One important aspect of well-being, highlighted particularly in humanistic theories of the counseling process, is perceived meaning in life. However, poor measurement has hampered research on meaning in life. In 3 studies, evidence is provided for the internal consistency, temporal stability, factor structure, and validity of the Meaning in Life Questionnaire (MLQ), a new 10-item measure of the presence of, and the search for, meaning in life. A multitrait-multimethod matrix demonstrates the convergent and discriminant validity of the MLQ subscales across time and informants, in comparison with 2 other meaning scales. The MLQ offers several improvements over current meaning in life measures, including no item overlap with distress measures, a stable factor structure, better discriminant validity, a briefer format, and the ability to measure the search for meaning.
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Associations between exercise and mental well-being have been documented repeatedly over the last two decades. More recently, there has been application of exercise interventions to clinical populations diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and eating disorders with evidence of substantial benefit. Nonetheless, attention to the efficacy of exercise interventions in clinical settings has been notably absent in the psychosocial treatment literature, as have been calls for the integration of these methods within the clinical practice of psychologists. In this article, we provide a quantitative and qualitative review of these efficacy studies in clinical samples and discuss the potential mechanism of action of exercise interventions, with attention to both biological and psychosocial processes. The meta-analysis of 11 treatment outcome studies of individuals with depression yielded a very large combined effect size for the advantage of exercise over control conditions: g = 1.39 (95% CI: .89–1.88), corresponding to a d = 1.42 (95% CI: .92–1.93). Based on these findings, we encourage clinicians to consider the role of adjunctive exercise interventions in their clinical practice and we discuss issues concerning this integration.
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Individuals differ considerably in their emotion experience. Some experience emotions in a highly differentiated manner, clearly distinguishing among a variety of negative and positive discrete emotions. Others experience emotions in a relatively undifferentiated manner, treating a range of like-valence terms as interchangeable. Drawing on self-regulation theory, we hypothesised that indivi-duals with highly differentiated emotion experience should be better able to regulate emotions than individuals with poorly differentiated emotion experience. In particular, we hypothesised that emotion differentiation and emotion regulation would be positively related in the context of intense negative emotions, where the press for emotion regulation is generally greatest. To test this hypothesis, parti-cipants' negative and positive emotion differentiation was assessed using a 14-day diary protocol. Participants' regulation of negative and positive emotions was assessed using laboratory measures. As predicted, negative emotion differentiation was positively related to the frequency of negative emotion regulation, particularly at higher levels of emotional intensity.
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This study examined the effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) on the brain–behavior mechanisms of self-referential processing in patients with social anxiety disorder (SAD). Sixteen patients underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging while encoding self-referential, valence, and orthographic features of social trait adjectives. Post-MBSR, 14 patients completed neuroimaging. Compared to baseline, MBSR completers showed (a) increased self-esteem and decreased anxiety, (b) increased positive and decreased nega-tive self-endorsement, (c) increased activity in a brain network related to attention regula-tion, and (d) reduced activity in brain systems implicated in conceptual-linguistic self-view. MBSR-related changes in maladaptive or distorted social self-view in adults diagnosed with SAD may be related to modulation of conceptual self-processing and attention regulation. Self-referential processing may serve as a functional biobehavioral target to measure the effects of mindfulness training. S ocial anxiety disorder (SAD) is a common and frequently debilitating condition character-ized by intense fear of evaluation in social or performance situations (Jefferys, 1997; Kessler et al., 1994). SAD has an early onset (Otto et al., 2001) and regularly precedes other anxiety, mood, and substance abuse/dependence disorders (Lampe, Salde, Issakidis, & Andrews, 2003; Matza, Revicki, Davidson, & Stewart, 2003). SAD is associated with significant distress and functional impairment in both work and social domains (Lochner et al., 2003; Rapee, 1995; Schneier et al., 1994) and typically persists unless treated (Clark & Wells, 1995). The early onset of SAD magnifies its impact, including increased school dropout (Van Ameringen, Mancini, & Farvolden, 2003), poor social integra-tion, and increased comorbid psychopathology (Lampe et al., 2003; Matza et al., 2003; Randall, Thomas, & Thevos, 2001).
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