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UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Standard-setting, affect, and motivational concerns following social success in social phobia Wallace, Scott Taylor


This study examined the impact of positive or negative interpersonal feedback on standard-setting, affect, and motivational concerns, within the framework of selfregulation theories of social anxiety. Thirty-two individuals who met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (rev. 3rd ed.; American Psychiatric Association, 1987) criteria for social phobia and 32 nonclinical controls participated in a successful or unsuccessful conversation with an assistant. Subjects rated two aspects of self-regulation (self-efficacy and standards), positive and negative affect, and motivational concerns. Consistent with predictions, socially phobic subjects displayed a discrepancy between what they believed they could achieve (efficacy) and what they believed others expected of them (standard) and the magnitude of this discrepancy increased when they had succeeded at the social task. In addition, anxious subjects reported higher levels of positive affect after experiencing social success than they did after experiencing social failure but they did not relinquish protective concerns. There was no evidence that socially phobic subjects were distressed by social success but the results illuminate dysfunctional standard-setting. Specifically, socially phobic individuals perceive larger discrepancies between their ability and expectations following success than they do following failure.

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