Interpreting Ambiguous Social Situations in Social Anxiety: Application of Computerized Task Measuring Interpretation Bias

Authors

1 Master of Clinical Psychiatry, School of Education and Psychology, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, School of Education and Psychology, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, School of Education and Psychology, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

Abstract

Background and Aims: The interpretation bias which is an important factor in the pathology of social anxiety disorder, has been recently considered in therapeutic approaches. Given the importance of interpretation bias in the treatment of social anxiety, and despite the ambiguity in the relationship between social anxiety and interpretation bias, we compared the interpretation bias in individuals with social anxiety and without it. Methods: In this casual-comparative study, 60 volunteer students were selected from the Ferdowsi University of Mashhad. Data was collected using the fear of negative evaluation scale, Depression questionnaire, and computerized interpretation bias assessment task. Data were analyzed via SPSS-19 software. Results: Compared to the controls, individuals with social anxiety interpreted the ambiguous social information significantly more negatively and less positively, even after controlling for the effects of depression. Conclusions: Based on research findings, it can be concluded that individuals with social anxiety showed negative interpretation bias and lack of positive interpretation bias in the interpretation of ambiguous social information.

Keywords