Do blushing phobics overestimate the undesirable communicative effects of their blushing?

P.J. de Jong*, M.L. Peters

*Corresponding author for this work

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Previous research indicated that blushing has socially threatening revealing effects in ambiguous situations. To explain blushing phobics' fearful preoccupation with blushing, we tested the hypothesis that blushing fearful individuals overestimate its revealing effects. High (n = 20) and low (n = 20) blushing fearful individuals read vignettes describing prototypical mishaps and ambiguous social events. Participants were prompted in the perspective of the actor, and were asked to indicate their expectations of the observers' judgments (meta-perceptions). Blushing fearful individuals overestimated the probability and the costs of undesirable outcomes. However, this judgmental bias was not inflated by displaying a blush. Thus, the results provide no evidence to support the idea that fear of blushing is fuelled by a biased conception of its communicative effects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747-758
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005

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