UBC Theses and Dissertations
Memory for positive social event and social anxiety Glazier, Brianne L.
Cognitive models of social anxiety disorder posit a memory bias such that socially anxious participants recall social-event information less positively over time than non-anxious participants do. Most work has focused on memory for negative stimuli with a relative lack of research on memory for positive stimuli. Moreover, the mechanisms underlying the relationship between social anxiety and memory bias have not been formally addressed. The program of research presented herein combines cognitive theories of social anxiety disorder, studies of positivity, and basic research on memory to examine whether individuals with elevated social anxiety display biased recollection of positive events. The series of studies: 1) demonstrates the presence of a recall bias in a community sample of individuals with social anxiety disorder compared to non-anxious control participants, 2) examines post-event processing as a potential mechanism underlying the relationship between social anxiety and memory using formal mediational analysis in an undergraduate student sample, 3) investigates a method of experimentally manipulating post-event processing in an undergraduate student sample, and 4) explores the possibility of manipulating retrieval to disrupt the effects of post-event processing in an undergraduate student sample. The current research contributes to the understanding of how socially anxious individuals experience positive events and can inform future attempts to help these individuals benefit from positive experiences.
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