Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 412–418 | Cite as

Long-Term Improvements in Probability and Cost Biases Following Brief Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Social Anxiety Disorder

  • Amanda A. Benbow
  • Page L. AndersonEmail author
Brief Report


This study examines whether improvements in probability and cost biases following cognitive behavioral therapy for social anxiety disorder endure over the long-term. Participants (N = 65) diagnosed with social anxiety disorder were randomly assigned and completed eight sessions of either exposure group therapy or virtual reality exposure therapy delivered according to a treatment manual. 24 participants completed standardized self-report measures of probability and cost biases at pre-treatment, post-treatment, and 5½ years, on average, after completing active treatment (range 2.5–6.5 years). Analyses of variance show that, relative to wait list, participants who completed an active treatment reported greater decline in probability and cost biases at post-treatment. Further, relative to pre-treatment, all treated participants reported significant improvements in probability and cost biases at post-treatment and at long-term follow-up. Cognitive-behavioral therapy may lead to long-lasting reductions in cognitive biases.


Social anxiety disorder Cognitive behavioral therapy Threat reappraisal Cognitive Biases Long-term follow-up Virtual reality 



This study was funded by the National Institute of Health (R42 MH 60506-02), awarded to Page L Anderson. Amanda A Benbow has received funding from the Brains and Behavior Fellowship.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Amanda A Benbow and Page L Anderson declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Animal Rights

No animal studies were carried out by the authors for this article.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyGeorgia State UniversityAtlantaGeorgia

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