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Behav Res Ther. 2007 Jun;45(6):1207-19. Epub 2006 Nov 16.

Post-event processing in social anxiety.

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Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton, S017 1BJ, UK.


Clark and Wells' [1995. A cognitive model of social phobia. In: R. Heimberg, M. Liebowitz, D.A. Hope, & F.R. Schneier (Eds.) Social phobia: Diagnosis, assessment and treatment (pp. 69-93). New York: Guildford Press.] cognitive model of social phobia proposes that following a social event, individuals with social phobia will engage in post-event processing, during which they conduct a detailed review of the event. This study investigated the relationship between self-appraisals of performance and post-event processing in individuals high and low in social anxiety. Participants appraised their performance immediately after a conversation with an unknown individual and prior to an anticipated second conversation task 1 week later. The frequency and valence of post-event processing during the week following the conversation was also assessed. The study also explored differences in the metacognitive processes of high and low socially anxious participants. The high socially anxious group experienced more anxiety, predicted worse performance, underestimated their actual performance, and engaged in more post-event processing than low socially anxious participants. The degree of negative post-event processing was linked to the extent of social anxiety and negative appraisals of performance, both immediately after the conversation task and 1 week later. Differences were also observed in some metacognitive processes. The results are discussed in relation to current theory and previous research.

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