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The Influence of Self-Focused Attention on Blushing During Social Interaction

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Abstract:

Although it has been suggested that attentional processes play a crucial role in blushing, to date research on the relationship between blushing and self-focused attention (SFA) has yielded conflicting results. In order to examine this relationship further, we conducted an empirical study in which we induced blushing and, using infrared thermography, measured changes in the facial temperature of 29 people with a high trait of SFA and 27 people with a low trait of SFA. The results suggest that high SFA not only increased actual physiological arousal levels (facial skin temperature) during blushing, but also delayed recovery from blushing episodes. These findings may provide valuable information for individuals with a high level of fear of blushing, including possible treatments such as an attentional distraction program.

Keywords: BLUSHING; FACIAL SKIN TEMPERATURE; FEAR OF BLUSHING; SELF-FOCUSED ATTENTION; SOCIAL INTERACTION

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2012.40.5.747

Publication date: 2012-06-01

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