Rumination and beliefs about social achievement goals in social anxiety
Morgan, Julie (2009) Rumination and beliefs about social achievement goals in social anxiety In: British Annual Psychological Society Annual Conference, 1-3 April 2009, Brighton, UK.
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Official URL: http://abstracts.bps.org.uk/index.cfm?&ResultsType...
Objectives: To examine the effect of response styles (rumination and reflection) on beliefs about social achievement goals in individuals with high and low levels of social anxiety. It was expected that a ruminative response style would increase conditional goal beliefs particularly in high socially anxious individuals. Design: High and low socially anxious individuals were assigned to either a ruminative or reflective response style condition. The effect of response style on beliefs about social achievement goals was measured using questionnaire ratings of conditional goal beliefs. Methods: On the basis of their scores on the Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory (SPAI) participants were assigned to either the high (N=21) or low (N=22) social anxiety group. Participants identified and rated the importance of several social goals using the Social Achievements Goal Scale. Following this participants were asked to visualise a hypothetical social scenario and subsequently focused on either ruminative or reflective response style statements. Participants then rated their conditional goal beliefs about the social achievement goals they had previously identified on measures of personal beliefs (e.g. I can only be happy if I achieve this goal) and social beliefs (e.g. other people will only accept me if I achieve this goal). Results: Multivariate analyses revealed there was a significant interaction between social anxiety group and response style condition on social beliefs about achievement goals but there was no interaction for personal beliefs about achievement goals. In the low social anxiety group the ruminative response style led to greater conditional goal beliefs than the reflective response style. However contrary to expectations the high social anxiety group showed the opposite pattern – engaging in a ruminative response style led to lower conditional goal beliefs than a reflective response style. Conclusions: The findings suggest that in some circumstances rumination may have adaptive benefits for individuals with high levels of social anxiety. This may further understanding of why socially anxious individuals continue to engage in this cognitive process. The findings will be discussed in terms of both theoretical models of social anxiety (e.g. Clark & Wells 1995) and existing research on post-event rumination in social anxiety.
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