Date of Award

8-1-2013

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Rodriguez, Benjamin

Abstract

Previous research on social anxiety disorder has suggested fear of negative evaluation is the key construct underlying the maintenance of the disorder. Recent studies have provided evidence that socially anxious individuals also experience anxiety in response to positive social events. Many past investigations have failed to control for the effects of depression so it is unknown whether the interpretation biases present in past investigations were due to social anxiety or comorbid depressive symptomatology. The current study sought to replicate and extend previous findings related to social anxiety and interpretation of positive social events. Consistent with previous studies social anxiety predicted negative interpretations of ambiguous social events after controlling for depression. In contrast to hypotheses, social anxiety was not associated with profoundly negative interpretations of positive social events. Clinical implications and directions for future research are discussed.

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