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Title: Keeping an eye on the self : the effects of seeing oneself during online video interactions in those with elevated social anxiety
Author: Seltzer-Eade, Sophia
ISNI:       0000 0004 8499 7740
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2017
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Research on the Clark and Wells (1995) model of Social Anxiety Disorder has established a number of processes that maintain social anxiety in face-to-face settings. Yet, little is known about whether similar maintenance mechanisms are activated during online interactions. The current study aimed to examine differences in anxiety, socially anxious thoughts, self-imagery, subjective ratings of performance, self-focused attention and eye-tracked visual attention during online video conversations in participants with high or low social anxiety. Additionally, a novel experimental manipulation was conducted to explore the impact of the presence or absence of a live self-video feed during the online social interaction on the abovementioned factors. Consistent with predictions, individuals in the high social anxiety group reported more anxiety, a greater number of socially anxious thoughts, heightened self-focused attention and more negative subjective evaluations of performance than participants in the low social anxiety group. No significant differences were identified between the groups concerning self-imagery or eye-tracked visual attention. With regards to the effect of the self-video, both participant groups experienced greater self-focused attention, more socially anxious thoughts and reduced visual attention directed to the conversation partner's face when the self-video was present compared to when it was absent. No significant differences were identified between anxiety levels, evaluations of performance or intensity of self-imagery. The findings suggest that social anxiety appears to have similar maintenance processes online and the effect of seeing oneself through a live video feed during a social interaction is associated with a number of unhelpful effects. The present study provides a foundation for further research looking at social anxiety in online social interactions and has implications for traditional theoretical models, as well as Internet-delivered interventions for social anxiety.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available