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Social Anxiety, Recall of Interpersonal Information, and Social Impact on Others

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This study sought to replicate and extend a previous study in which social anxiety was associated with poorer recall of the details of a social interaction as well as to test various hypotheses derived from Trower and Gilbert's (1989) psychobiological/ethological theory of social anxiety. Socially anxious and nonanxious undergraduate students participated in a heterosocial conversation with a confederate under the observation of a second subject. Consistent with the previous study, there was some evidence that social anxiety was associated with poorer recall of interaction details for women. Social anxiety and recall were unrelated for men. Men demonstrated poorer recall than women overall. The hypotheses derived from Trower and Gilbert's theory were largely supported, suggesting socially anxious individuals view social interactions as competitive endeavors in which they are ill equipped to challenge the other person. Rather, they adopt self-effacing strategies, but still doubt their success. Finally, the judgments of nonanxious individuals about their impact on others appeared to be positively biased. Implications for cognitive theories of social anxiety are discussed.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Nebraska-Lincoln 2: Louisiana State University

Publication date: January 1, 1998

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