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Title: Social phobia as a response to perceived threats to social status : an investigation or Trower and Gilbert's psychobiological model of social anxiety.
Author: Zawadzki, Donna.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3576 9002
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 1999
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This study sought to test hypotheses derived from Trower & Gilbert's (1989) psychobiological/ethological model of social anxiety. The model proposes that social anxiety represents a response to perceived threats to social status, and is associated with shame and submissive behaviour. The study used a correlational design with a group of individuals meeting diagnostic criteria for social phobia (N= 37) and a group of nonanxious participants (N= 37). Participants were assessedo n social comparisonsr elevant to social status, shame, and submissive behaviour through the use of questionnaires administered at one time point. The results provided partial support for the Trower & Gilbert (1989) model. Those with social phobia made more unfavourable social comparisons than non-anxious participants on two of the three social comparison dimensions: social attractiveness and group fit. The groups did not differ on the dimension of social rank. Socially phobic participants reported higher levels of shame and submissive behaviour than non-anxious participants. In addition, the social comparison dimensions of social attractiveness and group fit, shame, and submissive behaviour correlated with a self-report measure of social anxiety. The results suggest that while the Trower & Gilbert (1989) model may provide important insights into our understanding of social anxiety, its focus on perceived threats to social status may be insufficient in understanding the complex factors involved in maintaining social fears. Furthermore, the results obtained suggest that social phobia may be related to other perceived threats to the social self, such as threats to social inclusion. Implications for social anxiety theory and treatment are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Psychology