| Volume 8, Issue 3, 303-319, 2017 |
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|Are you watching me? Interacting effects of fear of negative evaluation and social context on cognitive performance|
| Erin Maresh - University of Virginia|
| Bethany Teachman - University of Virginia|
| James Coan - University of Virginia|
|Volume 8, Issue 3, 2017, Pages 303-319|
Socially anxious individuals exhibit performance impairments on cognitive tasks; it is unclear whether this is due to trait differences in abilities or unaccounted-for effects of the experimental context. This study sought to determine how social context, individual differences in social anxiety, and task difficulty interact to influence working memory performance. Participants (N=61) performed the n-back task at 2-back and 3-back difficulty levels under three conditions: alone ("Anonymous"), in presence of a non-evaluative experimenter ("Presence"), and under explicit performance evaluation by the experimenter ("Threat"). Results showed that during 3-back trials, social anxiety positively associated with longer reaction times during Threat, and during 2-back trials, social anxiety trended toward positively associating with longer reaction times during Presence. Social anxiety did not relate to accuracy, suggesting that threat-related impairments tied to social anxiety may alter efficiency rather than effectiveness. Thus, even minimally evaluative environments may elicit cognitive performance impairments in socially anxious individuals.
|Table of Contents|
Social context manipulation
Plan for analyses
Interactive effects of social context, n-back difficulty, and trait fear of negative evaluation on working memory performance.
Secondary moderator analyses.
Effects of Ongoing Social-Evaluative Threat
Effects of Social Presence
Limitations and Future Directions
| Erin Maresh |
|social anxiety, social-evaluative threat, social presence, working memory, cognitive impairment, social context, fear of negative evaluation |
|Received 14 Sep 2016; Revised 29 Mar 2017; Accepted 29 Mar 2017; In Press 22 Jul 2017 |