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Social phobia is a persistent disorder that is unlikely to be maintained by avoidance alone. One reason for the enduring nature of social phobia may be the way individuals with the disorder process social information. It is important for those involved in social phobia to have an understanding of information-processing biases, because it has the potential(More)
People with social phobia report anticipatory and retrospective judgments about social situations that appear consistent with a negative interpretative bias. However, it is not at all clear that biased interpretative inferences are made "on-line;" that is, at the time that ambiguous information is first encountered. In a previous study, volunteers who were(More)
We present an evidence-based model of pathological worry in which worry arises from an interaction between involuntary (bottom-up) processes, such as habitual biases in attention and interpretation favouring threat content, and voluntary (top-down) processes, such as attentional control. At a pre-conscious level, these processes influence the competition(More)
Cognitive-behavioral models of clinical problems typically postulate a role for the combined effects of different cognitive biases in the maintenance of a given disorder. It is striking therefore that research has tended to examine cognitive biases in isolation rather than assessing how they work together to maintain psychological dysfunction. The combined(More)
Patients with social phobia often experience negative self-images in social situations. The current study investigated whether negative self-images have a causal role in maintaining social phobia. Patients with social phobia participated twice in a conversation with a stranger, once whilst holding their usual negative self-image in mind and once whilst(More)
Worry-prone individuals have less residual working memory capacity during worry compared to low-worriers (Hayes, Hirsch, & Mathews, 2008). People typically worry in verbal form, and the present study investigated whether verbal worry depletes working memory capacity more than worry in imagery-based form. High and low-worriers performed a working memory(More)
Chronic, excessive, and uncontrollable worry is the defining characteristic of generalised anxiety disorder. Worry largely consists of verbal thought and it has been postulated that this predominance of verbal thought in worry may contribute to its perseveration. In an investigation of this issue, high worriers were trained to engage in either imagery or(More)
Previous research has shown that, unlike non-anxious individuals, people with social phobia fail to generate non-threatening inferences when ambiguous social information is first encountered (i.e. 'on-line'; Hirsch and Mathews Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 109 (2000) 705-712). Patients with social phobia also report negative self-imagery in social(More)
Previous research has shown that high socially anxious individuals lack the benign interpretation bias present in people without social anxiety. The tendency of high socially anxious people to generate more negative interpretations may lead to anticipated anxiety about future social situations. If so, developing a more benign interpretation bias could lead(More)
In this experiment we investigated the effect of different instructions on the modification of attentional biases, and subsequently on worry persistence. Participants without excessive worry completed a modified dot-probe task, designed to train attention either to threat or neutral words. Half of each group was given explicit instructions regarding the(More)