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Mediators of rejection in social anxiety : similarity, self-disclosure, and overt signs of anxiety Papsdorf, Michael Paul


The present study examined possible mediators of the relationship between social anxiety and social rejection in a face-to-face interaction. Eighty-four undergraduate students with varying levels of social anxiety participated in a self-disclosure task in which an experimental confederate revealed intimate information about herself to which the subject responded. During the interaction, trained observers rated subjects on the extent to which they displayed outward signs of anxiety, the intimacy level of their disclosures, and the similarity of the subject and confederate. After the interaction, confederates rated the extent to which they would be willing to participate in future activities with subjects, a measure of social acceptance or rejection. The results of the present study suggested that perceived similarity mediated the relationship between social anxiety and social rejection. In addition, similarity mediated between self-disclosure and rejection and between overt signs of anxiety and rejection. This mediational model and its practical and theoretical implications are discussed.

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