Correcting self-deprecating bias in social anxiety
Cobb, Michelle Nicole
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Social anxiety is correlated with external attributions for positive social events and internal, stable attributions for negative social events (Taylor & Wald, 2003). A computerized retraining program was designed to modify this self-deprecating attributional style. Effects of this modification on state anxiety experienced during a subsequent speech task were examined. One hundred and two undergraduates were randomly assigned to a placebo or training condition. The training group was encouraged to attribute both social failures and successes to effort, while self-deprecating attributions were discouraged. Results suggest the training modified attributions on both a computerized assessment and the Attributional Style Questionnaire for Social Events (ASQSE; Taylor et al., 1997; Peterson et al., 1982). However, the training did not reduce state anxiety on the speech task. Results suggest although attributions may be modified in a single session, perhaps a longer duration and further experiences are required for these modifications to reduce anxiety.