Investigating stereotypes of social anxiety.


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES This paper consists of two studies that test for the presence and content of stereotypes of highly socially anxious individuals. DESIGN The current studies examined traits that comprise social anxiety stereotypes, and then tested whether undergraduate students held part of this stereotype via an implicit-association test (IAT). METHODS In Study 1, a sample of undergraduate students (n = 635) was asked to generate descriptors of people who are highly socially anxious. These descriptors were utilized to create the Social Anxiety Stereotype Measure (SASM) and the underlying factor structure of the SASM was analyzed. In Study 2, a different sample of undergraduate students (n = 87) was given an IAT to further test for the presence of one of the factors obtained in Study 1. RESULTS Factor analyses indicated the presence of two social anxiety stereotypes: social inhibition and oddity (comparative fit index = .97, Tucker-Lewis Index = .95, root mean square error of approximation = .07, standardized root mean square residual = .06). Oddity as a stereotype of social anxiety was further supported via an IAT: Participants reacted more quickly when oddity (vs. normality) words were paired with social anxiety (vs. social confidence) words (D = -1.15, SD = .26; t(85) = -41.50, p < .001). CONCLUSIONS Factor analyses revealed two social anxiety stereotypes: social inhibition and oddity. Further testing of the oddity stereotype was supported via an IAT.

DOI: 10.1080/10615806.2015.1035999

Cite this paper

@article{Fox2016InvestigatingSO, title={Investigating stereotypes of social anxiety.}, author={Jaclyn M Fox and Katya C. Fernandez and Thomas L. Rodebaugh and Andrew R. Menatti and Justin Weeks}, journal={Anxiety, stress, and coping}, year={2016}, volume={29 2}, pages={173-86} }