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Title: Information processing biases in social anxiety and social phobia
Author: Gamble, Caroline
ISNI:       0000 0001 3487 3959
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2008
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The current thesis is comprised of a review of the literature pertaining to information processing biases in social anxiety, and an empirical paper investigating the predictions made regarding one of these biases, a bias in the focus of external attention. Following a general introduction to social phobia, the literature review explores cognitive models of anxiety and specific cognitive models of social anxiety and social phobia. Due to a wealth of previous research, the body of the review is focused on empirical research that has investigated one specific information processing bias in social anxiety, the allocation of attentional resources. Based on a critical evaluation of the current evidence base, unanswered questions in the literature are identified and suggestions for future research are proposed. The empirical paper focuses on the allocation of external attention in social anxiety, using eye movement technology. The study compares individuals high and low in social anxiety regarding attentional biases and the potential mechanisms underlying these biases. Results of the study indicate that individuals high in social anxiety have greater attentional biases towards emotional faces, and that an important mechanism underlying these biases may be a difficulty disengaging from emotional stimuli. The results of the current study are discussed in relation to current theoretical models and empirical research, and clinical implications of the study are considered.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available