ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
 Volume 7, Issue 1, 18-30, 2016
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Does self-focused attention in social anxiety depend on self-construal? Evidence from a probe detection paradigm

Authors
  Noortje Vriends - University of Basel, Department of Psychology, Division of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Basel, Switzerland.
  Olivia Bolt - University of Basel, Department of Psychology, Division of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Basel, Switzerland. And King’s College London, Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, Lon
  Yasemin Meral - University of Basel, Department of Psychology, Division of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Basel, Switzerland.
  Andrea Meyer - University of Basel, Department of Psychology, Division of Clinical Psychology and Epidemiology, Basel, Switzerland.
  Susan Bögels - University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Research Institute of Child Development and Education, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  Frank Wilhelm - University of Basel, Department of Psychology, Division of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Basel, Switzerland. And University of Salzburg, Department of Psychology, Division of Clinical Psychol

Volume 7, Issue 1, 2016, Pages 18-30
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5127/jep.041514

Abstract
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.

Table of Contents
Introduction
Methods
 Participants
Materials
 Self-report measures
  Social anxiety.
  Self-construal.
 Experimental task
  Social stress manipulation.
  Self-focused attention paradigm.
 Procedure
 Statistical analyses
Results
 Manipulation check
 Self-construal and self-focused attention in high and low social anxiety
Discussion
Acknowledgements
References

Correspondence to
Noortje Vriends, Department of Psychology, Division of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, University of Basel, Missionsstrasse 60/62 4055 Basel, Switzerland.

Keywords
self-focused attention, self-construal, social anxiety, social phobia, interdependence, culture, cognitivebehavior therapy, exposure treatment

Dates
Received 18 Feb 2014; Revised 13 Nov 2014; Accepted 4 Dec 2014; In Press 1 Aug 2015







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