P.J. de Jong
- Blushing-fearful individuals overestimate the costs and probability of their blushing
- Behaviour Research and Therapy
- Volume | Issue number
- 50 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
It has been proposed that blushing-fearful individuals overestimate both the probability and the interpersonal costs of blushing. To study these judgmental biases, we presented a treatment-seeking sample of blushing-fearful individuals a series of vignettes describing social events and tested whether this clinical sample would overestimate the costs and probability of blushing compared to non-fearful controls. To test if blushing-fearfuls overestimate and/or low-fearful individuals underestimate the cost of displaying a blush, a second experiment examined the effects of blushing in these situations on observers’ judgments. Experiment 1 showed that blushing-fearfuls indeed have judgmental biases for the probability and costs of blushing. Experiment 2 showed that the observers’ judgments were very similar to the judgments anticipated by the low-fear group in Experiment 1. Thus the judgmental biases that were evident in the high-fearfuls can be best interpreted as an overestimation of the social costs of displaying a blush. These findings help improving our understanding of the mechanisms that may drive blushing phobia and also point to the clinical implication that it might be worthwhile to challenge blushing-fearfuls’ judgmental biases.
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