Physiological and emotional responses to subjective social evaluative threat in daily life.


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES This study examined concurrent and delayed emotional and cardiovascular correlates of naturally occurring experiences with subjective social evaluative threat (SSET) and tested whether individual differences in social interaction anxiety moderated those associations. METHODS Sixty-eight participants wore ambulatory blood pressure monitors for three days. Following each blood pressure reading, participants reported on SSET and negative emotions, yielding 1770 momentary measures. RESULTS Multilevel modeling suggested that reports of greater SSET uniquely predicted elevations in anxiety and embarrassment, with elevations in anxiety, embarrassment, and shame extending to the hour following SSET. Reports of concurrent and previous-hour SSET also predicted cardiovascular elevations. Linkages between SSET and anxiety and shame, but not cardiovascular measures, were moderated by social interaction anxiety. Those higher in social interaction anxiety showed especially strong associations between SSET and both concurrent and delayed anxiety and greater delayed shame. CONCLUSIONS This research suggests an important role for anxiety, embarrassment, and shame as emotional consequences of naturally occurring evaluative threat, especially for those who are more socially anxious. Further, this work replicates other naturalistic studies that have documented increased blood pressure at times of SSET and extends that work by documenting cardiovascular responses into the following hour.

DOI: 10.1080/10615806.2014.968563

Cite this paper

@article{Lehman2015PhysiologicalAE, title={Physiological and emotional responses to subjective social evaluative threat in daily life.}, author={Barbara J. Lehman and Arianna C Cane and Shannon J Tallon and Stephanie F Smith}, journal={Anxiety, stress, and coping}, year={2015}, volume={28 3}, pages={321-39} }