The Effect of Negative, Positive, and Neutral Self-imagery on Symptoms and Processes in Social Anxiety Disorder

Ng, Ashlen; Abbott, Maree
August 2016
Cognitive Therapy & Research;Aug2016, Vol. 40 Issue 4, p479
Academic Journal
Cognitive models of social anxiety disorder suggest that negative self-images maintain social fears despite repeated exposure to benign social situations. An accumulating body of evidence supports this notion, and preliminary data indicates that modifying self-imagery can potentially reduce fears of negative evaluation in socially anxious individuals. The present study examined the effects of negative, positive, and neutral self-imagery during a speech task in 49 clinically diagnosed and 41 non-clinical participants. The impact of self-imagery on various symptoms and both cognitive and attentional processes proposed by cognitive models was empirically tested in a two group by three condition between-subjects experimental design. Expected group differences emerged with regard to symptom, affective, and cognitive measures, as well as performance discrepancy scores; however, specific statistical interactions hypothesised between group and condition were not supported for the majority of symptom measures, suggesting that negative imagery may not be differentially influential, as posited by current theoretical models. Continuing research is warranted to further disentangle the relative importance of different aspects of self-imagery in order to better understand the factors that maintain social threat fears, and inform clinical intervention research modifying imagery in effective treatments for social anxiety disorder.


Related Articles

  • Clinical Case Study: Clinical Use of the Looming Vulnerability Construct for Performance Anxiety in a Dance Recital. Riskind, John H.; Long, Daniel; Duckworth, Rebecca; Gessner, Ted // Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy;Winter2004, Vol. 18 Issue 4, p361 

    Several recent social phobia models (e.g., Clark & Wells, 1995; Rapee & Heimberg, !997) share the assumption that sensitivity to the social evaluative context is produced by the socially anxious person's generation of distorted mental images. These distorted images occur in the form of an...

  • Communication Apprehension, Interpretive Styles, Preparation and Performance in Oral Briefing. Thomas, Gail Fann; Tymon Jr, Walter G.; Thomas, Kenneth W. // Journal of Business Communication;Oct94, Vol. 31 Issue 4, p311 

    This paper introduces the constructs of interpretive styles from the empowerment literature. It proposes these styles as cognitive variables that shape communication apprehension (CA). We report an empirical study of oral briefings by naval officers. Results show that CA was linked to two...

  • The Predictors and Contents of Post-Event Processing in Social Anxiety. Makkar, Steve; Grisham, Jessica // Cognitive Therapy & Research;Apr2011, Vol. 35 Issue 2, p118 

    The present study investigated the factors that influence the likelihood that individuals engage in post-event processing (PEP)-the act of engaging in a detailed, negative, and self-focused review following social situations. This study also examined the cognitive contents of PEP in a...

  • Constructive Effects of Engaging in Post-Event Processing in High and Low Socially Anxious Individuals. Makkar, Steve R.; Grisham, Jessica R. // Behaviour Change;Sep2012, Vol. 29 Issue 3, p127 

    Post-event processing (PEP), the act of engaging in a detailed, self-focused, and negative analysis of a prior social situation, has been hypothesised to contribute to the maintenance of social phobia (Clark & Wells, 1995). In light of this proposal, the present study investigated whether...

  • Self-Discrepancies and the Situational Domains of Social Phobia. Johns, Adam; Peters, Lorna // Behaviour Change;Jun2012, Vol. 29 Issue 2, p109 

    The present study explored whether particular discrepancies among an individual's self-beliefs, as described by Higgins’ (1987) Self-Discrepancy Theory, were differentially related to the two broad situational domains of social anxiety: performance and social interaction anxiety. Fifteen...

  • Negative Interpretation Bias Mediates the Effect of Social Anxiety on State Anxiety. Beard, Courtney; Amir, Nader // Cognitive Therapy & Research;Jun2010, Vol. 34 Issue 3, p292 

    Cognitive models of social anxiety predict that interpretation bias mediates the relationship between level of social anxiety and state anxiety in response to social-evaluative threat. We tested this prediction in 67 socially anxious undergraduates. Participants completed self-report measures of...

  • Communication Apprehension and Imagined Interactions. Honeycutt, JamesM.; Choi, CharlesW.; DeBerry, JohnR. // Communication Research Reports;Jul2009, Vol. 26 Issue 3, p228 

    Communication apprehension (CA) is associated with fear of anticipated communication. Yet, imagined interactions (IIs) can help reduce fear of communication in which individuals use mental imagery before and after to prepare and review communication. A series of regression analyses in which...

  • THE PROBLEMS OF COMMUNICATION APPREHENSION IN THE CLASSROOM. McCROSKEY, JAMES C. // Florida Communication Journal;1976, Vol. 4 Issue 2, p1 

    The article examines the problem posed by communication apprehension to a student's learning environment. It distinguishes stage fright from communication apprehension. A cause of communication apprehension is the failure to reinforce for communicating or punishing communicating in the child. It...

  • EFICACIA COMPARADA DE DOS ENTRENAMIENTOS EN ESTUDIANTES UNIVERSITARIOS CON DIFICULTADES PARA HABLAR EN PÚBLICO. Cañada, Rafael Estrella; Lasa-Aristu, Amaia // Behavioral Psychology / Psicologia Conductual;2013, Vol. 21 Issue 1, p39 

    This study compares the efficacy of a training session in public speaking (PST) and a training session in focused attention (FAT) in connection with a control group of university students with difficulties in public speaking. In addition, we prepared a method for evaluating public speaking...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics