Using implementation intentions to overcome the effects of social anxiety on attention and appraisals of performance

WEBB, T. L., ONONAIYE, M. S. P., SHEERAN, P., REIDY, J. G. and LAVDA, A. (2010). Using implementation intentions to overcome the effects of social anxiety on attention and appraisals of performance. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36 (5), 612-627.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0146167210367785
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167210367785
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    Abstract

    The present research examines whether forming implementation intentions can help people with social anxiety to control their attention and make more realistic appraisals of their performance. In Experiment 1, socially anxious participants (relative to less anxious participants) exhibited an attentional bias toward social threat words in a Visual Dot Probe task. However, socially anxious participants who formed implementation intentions designed to control attention did not exhibit this bias. Using a spatial cuing task, Experiment 2 showed that forming implementation intentions also promoted rapid disengagement from threatening stimuli. Experiment 3 ruled out the possibility that implementation intentions were effective merely because they provided additional goal-relevant information. In Experiment 4, participants gave a speech and subsequently rated their performance. Forming implementation intentions prevented the underestimation of performance that characterises socially anxious individuals. Together, the findings suggest that forming implementation intentions may provide an effective means of handling self-regulatory problems in social anxiety.

    Item Type: Article
    Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Psychology Research Group
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167210367785
    Page Range: 612-627
    Depositing User: John Reidy
    Date Deposited: 15 May 2012 08:19
    Last Modified: 11 May 2018 18:25
    URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/5077

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