Orienting and disengagement: Social anxiety moderates effects of exclusion on selective attention to signs of acceptance

[Speaker] Deng, Yanhe:1,2
[Co-author] Liu, Xiangping:1,2
1:School of Psychology, Beijing Normal University (China (People's Republic of China)), 2:Beijing Key Laboratory of Applied Experimental Psychology (China (People's Republic of China))

This study investigated the interactive effects of social anxiety and exclusion on selective attention to social signs representing potential acceptance (i.e., smiling faces). Participants were randomly assigned to either exclusion or inclusion condition manipulated by Cyber-ball game. A dot probe task allowing for a differentiation between orienting and disengagement - two aspects of selective attention - was used. It was revealed that not only a marginal significant interaction on the orienting index, but also a significant interaction on the disengaging index of smiling faces. Specifically, participants with lower social anxiety expressed quicker orienting towards and slower disengagement from smiling faces following exclusion, comparing to those in inclusion condition. However, participants with higher social anxiety following exclusion showed pronouncedly quicker disengagement from smiling faces relative to those in inclusion condition. Such compensatory deficits in the early-stage interpersonal perception could have important implications for understanding the genesis and persistence of social anxiety.
Advanced Search