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Title: Interpretation in social anxiety : measurement, modification, mechanism and mood
Author: Marshall, Benjamin
ISNI:       0000 0004 5915 8451
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2015
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Cotemporary cognitive models of emotion, in particular social anxiety, emphasise the role of biases in in information processing. Interpretive bias is central to this biased cognition, however research concerning it currently features a number of deficits. In particular, methods of measuring and modifying interpretations are currently of limited scope. The mechanism of action of interpretation modification and its interface with affective processing is also currently not directly evidenced. The current thesis begins by considering methods of improving cognitive bias modification for interpretation (CBM-I) by including explicit instructions and participant generated content. An innovative measure of interpretation is integrated and applied alongside conventional outcome measures for these tasks. The thesis moves on to consider the role of mood manipulation in interfering with or accentuating the outcomes gained in CBM-I work, and the roles of state and trait anxiety in interpretation in general. The primary findings were an absence of evidence for a training effect from both the conventional and newly-applied CBM-I techniques used across the experiments (making mood investigation inconclusive), but varied state and trait associations for the different measures of bias applied. Taken together, these results suggest a more conservative impression of the effects of CBM-I than that found in prior literature and imply caution with its application and assumptions regarding its mechanism of effect. Furthermore, they suggest that a conventional closed-resolution measure is responsive to state and trait variation in social anxiety, and that there is a trait associated bias in likelihood approximation but not generation or evaluation of negative material by socially anxious individuals. Implications of these results for theory and further empirical practice are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available