Hiding anxiety versus acknowledgment of anxiety in social interaction: Relationship with social anxiety

M.J. Voncken*, L.E. Alden, S.M. Bögels

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    30 Citations (Web of Science)


    According to cognitive and interpersonal models, safety behaviors in social phobia (e.g., avoiding eye contact, hiding blushing) erroneously induce negative evaluation by interaction partners. Presumably, a bias about the social outcome of safety behaviors causes this negative interaction cycle. Such a bias might be subject to double standard in social phobia (i.e., having more stringent rules for oneself than for others). Female students (n = 81) predicted more negative social outcomes for a prominent type of safety behavior, hiding anxiety, than for the opposite behavior, acknowledgment of anxiety and ongoing behavior (control condition) in scripts of self- and other-target persons. The relation between social anxiety and double standard was robust. Social anxiety did not relate to a cognitive bias regarding hiding ones anxiety, as we expected, but was associated with the belief that acknowledgment of anxiety has negative social outcomes specifically for them. These results are evaluated in light of the interpersonal consequences anxiety-related behaviors have in social interactions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1673-1679
    Number of pages7
    JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006

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