D. M. Clark and A. Wells (1995) proposed that a shift of attention inward toward interoceptive information is a central feature of social phobia. However, few studies have examined attentional biases toward internal physiological cues in social phobia. The current experiment assessed whether socially anxious individuals exhibit an attentional bias (a) toward cues for an internal source of potential threat (heart-rate information), (b) toward cues for an external source of potential threat (threatening faces) or (c) both. Ninety-one participants who were selected to form extreme groups based on a social anxiety screening measure performed a dot-probe task to assess location of attention. Results showed that socially anxious participants exhibited an attentional bias toward cues of internal, but not external, sources of potential threat.
- Attentional bias
- Social anxiety
- Social phobia
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)