Olivia C. Bolt
- Does self-focused attention in social anxiety depend on self-construal?
- Evidence from a probe detection paradigm
- Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
- Volume | Issue number
- 7 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Research Institute of Child Development and Education (RICDE)
Cognitive models of social anxiety disorder propose self-focused attention as a key maintenance factor of the disorder. However, whether this holds true for different cultural contexts has not been investigated. The present experiment investigated the influence of self-construal (interdependent versus independent) on self-focused attention in high and low socially anxious individuals. Eighty-seven participants, divided into high versus low socially anxious and interdependent versus independent self-construal, performed a self-focused attention probe detection paradigm. A reaction time metric relating to attention deployment on the self versus the other served as an index of self-focused attention. In individuals with an interdependent self-construal those who are highly socially anxious showed decreased self-focused attention compared to those who are low socially anxious. In individuals with an independent self-construal the effect of social anxiety was less strong and in the opposite direction (but congruent with cognitive models). These results indicate that self-focused attention in social anxiety depends on self-construal. These findings implicate different therapies for people with social anxiety disorder, depending on their self-construal.
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