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J Abnorm Psychol. 2001 May;110(2):247-58.

Blushing and physiological arousability in social phobia.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, California, USA.


Blushing is the most prominent symptom of social phobia, and fear perception of visible anxiety symptoms is an important component of cognitive behavioral models of social phobia. However, it is not clear how physiological and psychological aspects of blushing and other somatic symptoms are linked in this disorder. The authors tested whether social situations trigger different facial blood volume changes (blushing) between social phobic persons with and without primary complaint of blushing and control participants. Thirty social phobic persons. 15 of whom were especially concerned about blushing, and 14 control participants were assessed while watching an embarrassing videotape, holding a conversation, and giving a talk. Only when watching the video did the social phobic persons blush more than controls blushed. Social phobic persons who complained of blushing did not blush more intensely than did social phobic persons without blushing complaints but had higher heart rates, possibly reflecting higher arousability of this subgroup.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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