Patients with generalized social phobia direct their attention away from faces

Y. P. Chen, A. Ehlers, D. M. Clark, W. Mansell

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    The experiment tested whether patients with social phobia direct their attention to or away from faces with a range of emotional expressions. A modified dot probe paradigm (J. Abnorm. Psychol. 95 (1986) 15) measured whether participants attended more to faces or to household objects. Twenty patients with social phobia were faster in identifying the probe when it occurred in the location of the household objects, regardless of whether the facial expressions were positive, neutral, or negative. In contrast, controls did not exhibit an attentional preference. The results are in line with recent theories of social phobia that emphasize the role of reduced processing of external social cues in maintaining social anxiety. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)677-687
    Number of pages10
    JournalBehaviour research and therapy
    Volume40
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2002

    Keywords

    • Attention
    • Dot probe paradigm
    • Facial expressions
    • Social phobia

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