Self-Evaluative Biases in Social Anxiety
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This study examined how social anxiety influences the evaluation of others, and the evaluation of the self. High (HSA; n = 24) and low (LSA; n = 24) socially anxious undergraduates watched a video of either an anxious or confident actor presenter and rated various aspects of the presenter and the presentation. Participants then gave their own speech, which they later evaluated with the same measures used to evaluate the other presenter. Both the HSA and LSA groups rated the anxious actor presenter more negatively than the confident actor presenter on most measures. The two groups did not differ in their evaluations of the actor presenters. However, when rating their own performance, the HSA group rated themselves more negatively on some measures than did the LSA group, even after controlling for observable differences in performance and anxiety between the two groups. This suggests that although socially anxious individuals may have clear performance skills deficits, they overestimate the extent to which these behavioral deficits are apparent to others.
Keywordssocial phobia information processing bias social anxiety performance anxiety
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