اثر کانون توجه و توهم شفافیت در اضطراب اجتماعی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|32967||2007||16 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Anxiety Disorders, Volume 21, Issue 6, 2007, Pages 804–819
[Clark, D. M., & Wells, A. (1995). A cognitive model of social phobia. In: R. G. Heimberg, M. R. Liebowitz, D. A. Hope, & F. R. Schneier (Eds.), Social phobia: diagnosis, assessment, and treatment (pp. 69–93). New York: Guildford Press] cognitive model of social phobia suggests that both public and private sources of information contribute to the construction of the self as a social object, which is thought to maintain the disorder. This study used two concepts developed in social psychology that might help to explain the processes that contribute to the development of this constructed self. These two concepts are the spotlight effect [Gilovich, T., Medvec, V. H., & Savitsky, K. (2000). The spotlight effect in social judgment: an egocentric bias in estimates of the salience of one's own actions and appearance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78(2), 211–222] and the illusion of transparency [Gilovich, T., Medvec, V. H., & Savitsky, K. (1998). The Illusion of transparency: biased assessments of others’ ability to read one's own emotional states. Journal of personality and social psychology, 75(2), 332–346]. Participants performed a memory task under either a low or a high social-evaluative condition. In the high social-evaluative condition, participants reported higher levels of the spotlight effect and more negative evaluation of task performance, compared to participants in the low social-evaluative condition. There were no differences between the two conditions in levels of the illusion of transparency. Surprisingly, however, in the low social-evaluative condition, participants reported higher levels of the illusion of transparency than the spotlight effect, whereas, in the high social-evaluative condition, they reported the opposite. Results suggest that the spotlight effect may be specific to social-evaluative concerns, whereas, the illusion of transparency may represent more general features of social anxiety concerns. Implications of the results for Clark and Wells’ cognitive model of social phobia model are discussed.
Current cognitive-behavioral models of social phobia (Clark, 2001; Clark & Wells, 1995; Rapee & Heimberg, 1997; Turk, Lerner, Heimberg, & Rapee, 2001) propose that when socially phobic individuals fear negative evaluation by others in social situations, they shift attention onto detailed monitoring of themselves—also called self-focused attention. Clark and Wells suggest that individuals use self-focused attention to infer how they appear to others and to judge what others think about them, and they refer to this as “processing of the self as a social object” (p. 72). This type of processing locks socially phobic individuals into a closed system, in which most of the evidence for their anxieties is self-generated and disconfirmatory proof, for example, other people's responses, is either unavailable or is disregarded. Self-focused attention is linked to social anxiety, negative self-judgments, and poor social performance in a number of studies (Woody, Chambless, & Glass, 1997). Woody (1996) examined self-focus in relation to anxiety and performance. Half of the socially phobic participants were in an active role (giving a speech), while, the other half were in a passive role (sitting in front of an audience while someone else was speaking). Self-focus was manipulated according to whether participants were talking about themselves (self-focus, active role), or about someone else (non-self-focus, active role), or whether they were being spoken about (self-focus, passive role), or just sitting in front of the audience (non-self-focus, passive role). Participants in the passive role reported significantly higher anticipated, self-rated, and observer-rated anxiety in the self-focus condition, compared to those in the non-self-focus condition. Woody's (1996) results suggest that self-focus increases self-rated and observed anxiety. More recently, Woody and Rodriguez (2000) showed that self-focused attention increased anxiety in socially phobic participants and controls, but that this increase in anxiety affected self-ratings of performance differently in the two groups. Observers rated the performance of both groups equally, but the control group gave higher ratings of their performance than the patient group, whose ratings were closer to observer's ratings, indicating a positive bias in participants’ ratings in the control group. A reduction in self-focused attention is also associated with improvements in anxiety after cognitive-behavioral therapy for social phobia (Hofmann, 2000 and Woody et al., 1997). Self-focused attention and the construction of the self as a social object involve input from both internal and external sources of information (Turk et al., 2001). Clark (2001) suggests that socially phobic individuals use three types of internal information to construct a negative self-impression. One, feeling anxious is associated with appearing anxious. Two, many patients with social phobia experience spontaneously occurring images in which they view themselves from an observer's perspective. Three, more diffuse types of ‘felt sense’ can add to a negative self-impression. Turk et al. also suggest that memories of actual self-images and prior social experiences both contribute to this self-impression. Nevertheless, clinical observations also suggest that, in addition to focusing on their internal states, some socially phobic individuals believe that other people can see or detect aspects of their internal selves; for example, their thoughts, images, or feelings. Clark and Wells (1995) appear to be less clear about the types of external information that socially phobic individuals use to construct a negative self-impression. However, Turk et al. (2001) suggest that feedback from others about one's appearance (e.g., weight, clothes, and actual physical defects) and behavior (e.g., posture, eye contact, and level of participation in conversations) add to a distorted self-impression. Collectively, it seems that both internal and external processes contribute to individuals’ construction of themselves as a social object during social situations. However, at the moment, we do not fully understand exactly how the different processes contribute to a distorted self-view. How can we advance our understanding of the respective roles of internal and external processes in developing a negative and distorted self-impression? There are two concepts developed in social psychology that might help to explain the processes that contribute to its development. These two concepts are the spotlight effect (Gilovich, Savitsky, & Medvec, 2000) and the illusion of transparency (Gilovich, Medvec, & Savitsky, 1998). The spotlight effect refers to the tendency for people to overestimate the extent to which they believe that others see and attend to their external appearance on a regular basis: people believe that the spotlight shines more brightly on them than it actually does ( Gilovich et al., 2000). Gilovich et al. demonstrated the spotlight effect by asking participants to wear an embarrassing T-shirt (picture of Barry Manilow) and walk in on a group of people who were filling out questionnaires. When asked to guess how many people noticed their shirt, participants grossly overestimated the number. In other words, participants allowed their own focus on the shirt to distort their estimates of how much it would be noticed by others. This also led participants to overestimate the number of other people who would be able to identify them based on their T-shirt. In contrast, the illusion of transparency refers to the tendency for people to overestimate the extent to which their internal thoughts, feelings, and attitudes ‘leak out’ and are seen by others. Some people feel that the self is transparent and is out there for the world to see. According to Gilovich et al. (1998), some individuals feel that other people can discern their internal states by noting signs of leakage in their external appearance and behavior. Gilovich et al. also suggest that the illusion of transparency is a relatively transitory or visceral state, that is, it reflects brief episodes of nervousness, disgust, or alarm. In one set of studies, Gilovich and colleagues found that participants, who were asked to lie, overestimated the number of observers who would notice their deception. In another study, participants who sampled foul-tasting drinks in view of an observer believed that their disgust was more apparent than was actually the case (Gilovich et al.). Both the spotlight effect and the illusion of transparency are typically measured by comparing an individual's predicted estimates of how apparent his or her internal and external states are to observers, with the actual estimates of observers. A significant difference between predicted and actual estimates is considered to derive from the individual's feelings of ‘transparency’ and/or being in the ‘social spotlight’ and his or her inability to form an accurate self-representation. Indeed, the way in which the spotlight effect and the illusion of transparency are measured is similar to studies showing a discrepancy between socially anxious individuals’ self-ratings of performance and ratings provided by others (Abbot & Rapee, 2004; Alden & Wallace, 1995; Mansell & Clark, 1999; McEwan & Devins, 1983; Mellings & Alden, 2000; Rapee & Lim, 1992; Stopa & Clark, 1993). Why might people be vulnerable to the spotlight effect and/or the illusion of transparency? Gilovich et al., 1998 and Gilovich et al., 2000 suggest that both effects result from an anchoring and adjustment process. People are typically quite focused on their own actions and appearance. They recognize that other people are likely to be less focused on them than they are themselves, and try to adjust for that fact, albeit insufficiently, when anticipating how they are seen by others. Thus, people overestimate how obvious their public and/or private selves are to others. Gilovich et al. (2000) demonstrated this anchoring and adjustment process by showing that the spotlight effect was significantly diminished when participants made their estimates after they had time to get used to wearing an embarrassing T-shirt. Because participants were less self-focused on the T-shirt, their estimates of how many other people would notice it began from a lower anchor, which resulted in a reduction of the spotlight effect. In contrast, for participants who entered the room straightaway, their judgments began with a powerful representation of how salient the T-shirt was in their own minds. The adjustment away from their own representation thus started from a very high anchor. More concerned with the shirt themselves; they concluded it would be more noticeable to others too. Gilovich et al. (1998) have provided data in support of the anchoring and adjustment interpretation of the illusion of transparency. First, they found that the illusion of transparency was greatest in participants who had the highest private self-consciousness scores; in other words, those who start from a higher anchor. These individuals, because of their self-focus, were likely to have an intense sense of their own internal experience. Second, Gilovich et al. found that the illusion of transparency existed only when participants were experiencing an obvious emotional state. Specifically, participants exhibited the illusion of transparency when they were lying, but not when telling the truth, and when they had sipped a foul-tasting drink, but not a pleasant one. Thus, when there was no pronounced internal experience to adjust from, there was no illusion of transparency. If the anchoring and adjustment process is applied to social anxiety, it suggests that individuals may use their own internal feelings of anxiety and the accompanying self-representation as an anchor, and insufficiently correct for the fact that others are less privy to those feelings than they are themselves. Consequently, they overestimate the extent to which their anxiety is obvious to onlookers. In fact, Clark and Wells (1995) suggest that socially phobic people enter social situations in a heightened self-focused state, namely, from a raised emotional anchor, which makes it difficult for them to set aside public and private self-knowledge and focus on the task. In socially anxious people, the degree of public scrutiny is likely to be critical in triggering the spotlight effect and/or the illusion of transparency. This is because both effects are linked to enhanced accessibility of self-relevant information (e.g., negative thoughts and images). This information will be most accessible under conditions of high public scrutiny. For example, in an unselected sample, Vorauer and Ross (1999) found that participants reported higher levels of the illusion of transparency under high social-evaluative conditions, where they believed they would be evaluated by a conversational stooge, than under low social-evaluative conditions, where they were not given this expectation. Furthermore, Vorauer and Ross seem to suggest that the illusion of transparency is a stable trait. This contrasts with Gilovich et al.'s (1998) suggestion that the illusion of transparency is a relatively transitory state. If the illusion of transparency is more trait than state like, then we would expect it to be less prone to manipulation and vice versa. Studies have not directly examined the relationship between social anxiety and the spotlight effect or the illusion of transparency. In addition, to our knowledge, the spotlight effect and the illusion of transparency have not been investigated together in a single study. The main aim of this study was to investigate whether high socially anxious participants would report higher levels of the spotlight effect and/or the illusion of transparency during a memory task, which was performed under high and low social-evaluative conditions. Overestimation of the features of one's public and private self would constitute evidence for the spotlight effect and the illusion of transparency respectively; relative to an independent assessor's estimations. To assess the spotlight effect and the illusion of transparency, as well as aspects of task performance, we constructed the Self-Awareness and Task Performance Questionnaire (SATP-Q). The SATP-Q contained a modified version of the Situational Self-Awareness Scale (SSAS: Govern & Marsch, 2001) that measures public and private self-awareness. Public self-awareness is a situational tendency to focus attention on observable aspects of self (e.g., physical features) (Govern & Marsch). Private self-awareness is a situational tendency to focus on internal aspects of self, such as memories and feelings of physical pleasure or pain (Buss, 1980). The Clark and Wells (1995) model of social phobia focuses largely on the content of self-focused attention, for example, on negative thoughts and distorted images. However, it is also important for models to consider the process of self-focused attention. The spotlight effect and the illusion of transparency may help us to explain the processes that contribute to self-focused attention and the construction of the self as a social object in social anxiety. For instance, the illusion of transparency might help to explain why some socially phobic individuals believe that other people can read their internal states. Clark and Wells suggest that self-focused attention is a key maintaining factor in anxiety, because it prevents socially phobic individuals from noticing social feedback that might contradict their negative self-beliefs. Therefore, from a therapeutic viewpoint, improved knowledge about processes that are used in the construction of the self as a social object, may lead to a more effective way of modifying socially phobic individuals’ mistaken impression of how the self appears to others; for example, by training them to ‘anchor’ on their own internal and/or external feelings of anxiety and/or processes of judgment in a more neutral fashion. In sum, the results of this study have the potential to both inform current cognitive models of social phobia and to help develop more effective treatments for the disorder. In line with previous research (Vorauer & Ross, 1999) and with cognitive models of social phobia (Clark & Wells, 1995; Rapee & Heimberg, 1997), we predicted that socially anxious participants would report higher levels of the spotlight effect and the illusion of transparency during a memory task that was performed under high compared to under low social-evaluative conditions. This prediction was based on our idea that in the high social-evaluative condition, participants would be more likely to access self-relevant information, which would produce an overestimation of the visibility of their public and private selves. We also predicted that participants would underestimate their task performance and evaluate it in a more negative way under high compared to under low social-evaluative conditions.