Attentional Bias Across the Dimension of Social Anxiety
The objective of this study was to examine attentional bias for threat in relation to social anxiety. It is well known that socially anxious individuals are likely to exhibit this bias, and this phenomenon may be clearly separated into two subsections: facilitation and disengagement. Facilitation, or vigilance, is the initial drawing of attention toward threat, and disengagement is the process of drawing attention away from threat. Past research focuses only on individuals ranked in the lowest and highest percentiles of any particular social anxiety measure, however, and fails to consider those having median scores. The current study included participants representing the full range of socially anxious individuals.
In order to do this, the Fear of Negative Evaluations Scale (FNE) was distributed to undergraduate students (N = 230). A portion of these students was then drawn from each of six scoring ranges on the FNE. Participants in this new sample (N = 19) were asked to complete a computerized dot-probe detection task measuring attentional bias. The face stimuli for the current version of the computerized task included disgusted, happy, and neutral faces. Results of the correlational analyses showed a statistically significant positive correlation between FNE score and disengagement bias for disgust faces. There also was a statistically significant negative correlation between FNE score and vigilance bias for disgust faces. There was no suggestion of a statistically significant correlation between FNE score and vigilance or disengagement biases with happy faces.
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Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Arts and Sciences
Arts and Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Sutterby, Scott, "Attentional Bias Across the Dimension of Social Anxiety" (2006). HIM 1990-2015. 561.