Indicators of implicit and explicit social anxiety influence threat-related interpretive bias as a function of working memory capacity

E. Salemink, M. Friese, E. J. Drake, B. Mackintosh, L. Hoppitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Interpretive biases play a crucial role in anxiety disorders. The aim of the current study was to examine factors that determine the relative strength of threat-related interpretive biases that are characteristic of individuals high in social anxiety. Different (dual process) models argue that both implicit and explicit processes determine information processing biases and behavior, and that their impact is moderated by the availability of executive resources such as working memory capacity (WMC). Based on these models, we expected indicators of implicit social anxiety to predict threat-related interpretive bias in individuals low, but not high in WMC. Indicators of explicit social anxiety should predict threat-related interpretive bias in individuals high, but not low in WMC. As expected, WMC moderated the impact of implicit social anxiety on threat-related interpretive bias, although the simple slope for individuals low in WMC was not statistically significant. The hypotheses regarding explicit social anxiety (with fear of negative evaluation used as an indicator) were fully supported. The clinical implications of these findings are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number220
Number of pages6
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

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