قطعیت خود پنداره در هراس اجتماعی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|30697||2006||24 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||10757 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Behaviour Research and Therapy, Volume 44, Issue 1, January 2006, Pages 113–136
Two studies are reported which examined the content of beliefs about self-attributes in social phobia, and the level of certainty with which these beliefs are held. The results of both studies indicated that individuals with social phobia held less positive beliefs about their personality characteristics in comparison to non-anxious individuals. In addition, social anxiety was associated with reduced subjective confidence in self-descriptiveness ratings for personality attributes (Study 1), as well as longer reaction times in making self-descriptiveness decisions relative to general decisions about trait adjectives (Study 2). The association between social anxiety and reduced certainty in negative attribute ratings was evident after controlling for depression, general anxiety, stress, and the extent to which negative attributes were endorsed as being self-descriptive. Results are discussed in terms of the potential role that reduced self-concept certainty may play in social phobia.
Recent cognitive theories of social phobia propose that negative self-evaluative thought processes during social situations play an important role in the development and maintenance of the disorder (e.g. Clark & Wells, 1995; Rapee & Heimberg, 1997). Such theories are supported by a large number of studies showing that socially anxious individuals report a higher frequency of negative self-statements during social situations in comparison to non-anxious controls (e.g. Beidel, Turner, & Dancu, 1985; Cacioppo, Glass, & Merluzzi, 1979; Glass, Merluzzi, Biever, & Larsen, 1982; Stopa & Clark, 1993), more negative mental images of themselves as they appear to other people (Hackmann, Surawy, & Clark, 1998), and more negatively biased subjective judgments of their social performances relative to observer ratings (e.g. Alden & Wallace, 1995; Rapee & Lim, 1992; Stopa & Clark, 1993). Similarly, evidence has shown that socially anxious individuals are more likely than non-anxious controls to make self-blaming attributions for the causes of negative social events (e.g. Anderson & Arnoult, 1985; Arkin, Appelman, & Burger, 1980; Teglasi & Hoffman, 1982), and to interpret such events to mean that they possess undesirable personality characteristics (Stopa & Clark, 2000; Wilson & Rapee (2005a) and Wilson & Rapee (in press)). Reductions during treatment in the extent to which individuals believe that negative social events are indicative of negative self-characteristics have also been found to predict longer-term outcome in social phobia (Wilson & Rapee, 2005b), further supporting the view that negative self-related judgments may be an important factor underlying anxiety in social situations. As suggested by several authors, it may be the case that negative self-evaluative cognitions during social situations at least partially reflect more negative underlying views of the self among socially anxious individuals compared to non-anxious individuals (e.g. Alden, Mellings, & Ryder, 2001; Clark & Wells, 1995). For instance, according to the theoretical model by Clark and Wells (1995), individuals with social phobia may hold generalised maladaptive assumptions about themselves (such as the belief that they are inadequate), which become activated during situations in which they may potentially be evaluated by other people. Consistent with the notion that socially anxious individuals hold more negative underlying views of the self compared to non-anxious individuals is evidence showing that shyness and social anxiety are associated with lower scores on measures of general self-esteem (e.g. Cheek, Melchior, & Carpentieri, 1986; Jones, Briggs, & Smith, 1986; Kocovski & Endler, 2000), and that socially anxious individuals rate words denoting positive personality traits as less self-descriptive, and words denoting negative personality traits as more self-descriptive, compared to non-anxious controls (e.g. Mansell & Clark, 1999). In addition, research suggests that unfavourable biases in self-perceptions among socially anxious individuals apply to a range of self-concept dimensions, with evidence showing that shyness is negatively associated with self-ratings of attributes such as likeability, intelligence, and physical attractiveness, even though objective indices of these attributes show no association with scores on shyness measures (e.g. see Cheek et al., 1986; Jones et al., 1986; Montgomery, Haemmerlie, & Edwards, 1991; Paulhus & Morgan, 1997). Notwithstanding evidence indicating that socially anxious individuals may hold less positive underlying beliefs about the self in comparison to non-anxious individuals, there is some research suggesting that such beliefs are not highly negative, and do not influence self-related judgments in non-social situations. For instance, studies that have examined self-ratings of personal attributes among socially anxious individuals have shown that they do not strongly endorse negative characteristics as being self-descriptive, or strongly reject positive attributes as being self-descriptive, but instead give ratings for each type of attribute that are more moderate than those of non-anxious individuals (e.g. see Mansell & Clark, 1999). In addition, research has indicated that the tendency of socially anxious people to attribute failure outcomes to personal attributes is specific to social situations, as opposed to events of a non-interpersonal nature (e.g. Anderson & Arnoult, 1985; Teglasi & Hoffman, 1982; see also Wilson & Rapee, in press). Finally, there is some evidence to suggest that negatively biased views of the self among socially anxious individuals are not impervious to the effects of positive social information, at least in studies that have investigated interpretations of hypothetical success outcomes. For instance, research has shown that individuals with social phobia are as likely as non-anxious individuals to attribute positive events to aspects of themselves, and similarly, to interpret positive social events as indicating that they possess positive personality characteristics, when analyses have controlled for the effects of concurrent depression (Heimberg et al., 1989; Wilson & Rapee, in press; but see Wallace & Alden (1995) and Wallace & Alden (1997)). Such evidence of variability in self-evaluations according to situational type and outcome may reflect uncertainty among socially anxious individuals with regard to whether they possess negative characteristics or lack positive characteristics, thus indicating that their self-concepts—whether primarily negative or positive—are not well-defined. The notion that people may differ in terms of the certainty of their self-concepts has been suggested by a number of authors. Campbell and her colleagues (e.g. Campbell, 1990; Campbell & Lavallee, 1993; Campbell et al., 1996), for instance, differentiate the contents of an individual's self-concept (which include subjective beliefs about one's specific attributes, and global evaluations of the self that constitute self-esteem) from structural aspects of the self-concept, which encompass the way in which contents are organised. According to this view, important structural elements of the self-concept include “the extent to which the contents of an individual's self-concept…are clearly and confidently defined, internally consistent, and temporally stable” (Campbell et al., 1996, p. 141), referred to overall as self-concept “clarity”. A potential role of uncertain or unstable self-concepts in social anxiety has also been implied by several theorists. Arkin (1987), for instance, proposed that shy people are characterised by “chronic self-doubt”, while Clark and Wells (1995) have suggested that “unstable self-schemata” are typical of many individuals with social phobia (see also Alden et al., 2001). In addition, Campbell (1990) has proposed that people with uncertain self-concepts “should be more dependent on, susceptible to, and influenced by external self-relevant stimuli” (p. 539), which may account for evidence suggesting that the outcome of social events impacts on feelings of self-worth among individuals with social phobia to a greater extent than among non-anxious individuals or those with other anxiety disorders (Gilboa-Schechtman, Franklin, & Foa, 2000). Empirical evidence regarding structural aspects of the self-concept suggests that “clarity” of one's view of the self is associated with psychological well-being (e.g. Campbell et al., 1996), although there is a paucity of research that has directly examined the potential relationship between social anxiety and structural features of the self-concept. To date, there appears to be only one published study that has investigated this issue, with the results indicating that higher levels of social anxiety in a non-clinical population were associated with lower scores on a measure of self-concept stability (Franzoi, 1983). Other research among unselected samples has shown that self-concept clarity correlates positively with self-report measures of more general constructs such as self-esteem and positive affectivity, and negatively with measures of constructs such as neuroticism and negative affectivity (e.g. Baumgardner, 1990; Campbell, 1990; Campbell et al., 1996). Such results raise the possibility that uncertainty or instability of the self-concept may be associated with psychopathology more generally, and may be particularly characteristic of disorders that involve negatively biased self-evaluations, such as depression (e.g. Beck, 1976). This possibility, combined with evidence indicating that social anxiety and depression show substantial comorbidity (e.g. Lepine & Lellouch, 1995; Merikangas & Angst, 1995) and similar cognitive features (e.g. Alden, Bieling, & Meleshko, 1995; Heimberg et al., 1989), suggests that it is important for research regarding the factors underlying either disorder to control for the potential effects of the other (e.g. Alden et al., 1995; Ingram (1989a) and Ingram (1989b); Sanz & Avia, 1994). The primary aim of the present research was to investigate one structural aspect of the self-concept among individuals with social phobia: namely, the level of certainty associated with beliefs about the self. Two studies were conducted in which different measures of self-concept certainty were employed: one which relied on subjective self-reports, and one which relied on a less obtrusive measure, in the form of reaction times to self-descriptiveness decisions about personality characteristics. In view of theory and evidence outlined above, it was hypothesised that individuals with social phobia would show higher levels of uncertainty in their beliefs about their personality attributes than would non-anxious controls, and that this difference would be evident even after controlling for differences in depressive symptoms between the two groups. Self-reported beliefs about general personality attributes were also examined, in order to determine whether less favourable beliefs about the self are associated with social phobia independently of concurrent depression.