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      Training implicit social anxiety associations: an experimental intervention.

      Journal of Anxiety Disorders

      Adolescent, Young Adult, Speech, Social Behavior, Reinforcement, Social, therapy, psychology, diagnosis, Phobic Disorders, Personality Inventory, Pattern Recognition, Visual, Male, Humans, Female, Fear, Facial Expression, Emotions, Attention, Association Learning, Arousal, Aged, 80 and over

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          Abstract

          The current study investigates an experimental anxiety reduction intervention among a highly socially anxious sample (N=108; n=36 per Condition; 80 women). Using a conditioning paradigm, our goal was to modify implicit social anxiety associations to directly test the premise from cognitive models that biased cognitive processing may be causally related to anxious responding. Participants were trained to preferentially process non-threatening information through repeated pairings of self-relevant stimuli and faces indicating positive social feedback. As expected, participants in this positive training condition (relative to our two control conditions) displayed less negative implicit associations following training, and were more likely to complete an impromptu speech (though they did not report less anxiety during the speech). These findings offer partial support for cognitive models and indicate that implicit associations are not only correlated with social anxiety, they may be causally related to anxiety reduction as well. (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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          Journal
          20102788
          10.1016/j.janxdis.2010.01.001
          2838945

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