You are here

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PSYCHOMETRICALLY-DEFINED SOCIAL ANXIETY AND WORKING MEMORY PERFORMANCE

Download pdf | Full Screen View

Date Issued:
2011
Abstract/Description:
Anxiety disorders are among the most commonly diagnosed class of mental illness in the United States, and often involve abnormally high levels of stress and social fear. Despite high lifetime prevalence rates, social anxiety disorder (SAD) has remarkably low diagnosis and treatment rates. Furthermore, while individuals with other specific psychiatric disorders tend to exhibit significant neuropsychological deficits, neuropsychological functioning in individuals with SAD remains largely untested. A majority of the few existing studies concerning neuropsychological performance in SAD samples focus on specific functions, and their limited results are highly mixed. The primary objective of this investigation was to provide a more thorough, broad assessment of both auditory and visual working memory as related to psychometrically-defined social anxiety disorder. In addition, this study aimed to help clarify as to whether such deficits are related to the construct of social anxiety, or whether any potential deficits are better explained by generalized state and/or trait (in-the-moment) anxiety. The implications of a deficit in the visual and/or auditory working memory domains are multifaceted. For example, such a deficit may lead to the inability to detect visual cues in social situations. The inability to process these social cues has the potential to exacerbate some SAD- related symptoms, such as fear of humiliation and judgment. Twenty-nine college students completed both phases of this study, including an assessment of state and trait anxiety as well as social phobia and a four-part working memory battery. An analysis of the Phase II data indicates that individual scores on the four measures of both visual and auditory working memory did not relate to trait and/or state anxiety or psychometrically-defined social anxiety. Thus, it appears that social, generalized trait, and generalized state anxiety do not relate to a neuropsychological deficit in either type of working memory in this sample population. However, we did find a statistical trend suggesting that as social anxiety increased, there was a relative decrease in visual vs. auditory working memory. This statistical trend remained after covarying for state and trait anxiety respectively. Therefore, future research in this area should examine the discrepancy in performance between the auditory and visual working memory domains as it relates to both diagnosed social phobia and psychometrically-defined social anxiety.
Title: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PSYCHOMETRICALLY-DEFINED SOCIAL ANXIETY AND WORKING MEMORY PERFORMANCE.
0 views
0 downloads
Name(s): Paskowski, Timothy, Author
Bedwell, Jeffrey, Committee Chair
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2011
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Anxiety disorders are among the most commonly diagnosed class of mental illness in the United States, and often involve abnormally high levels of stress and social fear. Despite high lifetime prevalence rates, social anxiety disorder (SAD) has remarkably low diagnosis and treatment rates. Furthermore, while individuals with other specific psychiatric disorders tend to exhibit significant neuropsychological deficits, neuropsychological functioning in individuals with SAD remains largely untested. A majority of the few existing studies concerning neuropsychological performance in SAD samples focus on specific functions, and their limited results are highly mixed. The primary objective of this investigation was to provide a more thorough, broad assessment of both auditory and visual working memory as related to psychometrically-defined social anxiety disorder. In addition, this study aimed to help clarify as to whether such deficits are related to the construct of social anxiety, or whether any potential deficits are better explained by generalized state and/or trait (in-the-moment) anxiety. The implications of a deficit in the visual and/or auditory working memory domains are multifaceted. For example, such a deficit may lead to the inability to detect visual cues in social situations. The inability to process these social cues has the potential to exacerbate some SAD- related symptoms, such as fear of humiliation and judgment. Twenty-nine college students completed both phases of this study, including an assessment of state and trait anxiety as well as social phobia and a four-part working memory battery. An analysis of the Phase II data indicates that individual scores on the four measures of both visual and auditory working memory did not relate to trait and/or state anxiety or psychometrically-defined social anxiety. Thus, it appears that social, generalized trait, and generalized state anxiety do not relate to a neuropsychological deficit in either type of working memory in this sample population. However, we did find a statistical trend suggesting that as social anxiety increased, there was a relative decrease in visual vs. auditory working memory. This statistical trend remained after covarying for state and trait anxiety respectively. Therefore, future research in this area should examine the discrepancy in performance between the auditory and visual working memory domains as it relates to both diagnosed social phobia and psychometrically-defined social anxiety.
Identifier: CFH0003798 (IID), ucf:44744 (fedora)
Note(s): 2011-05-01
B.S.
Sciences, Dept. of Psychology
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): SAD
Social Phobia
Neuropsychological Functioning
Working Memory
Visual Working Memory
Verbal Working Memory
Auditory Working Memory
Social Anxiety
Anxiety Disorders
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFH0003798
Restrictions on Access: public
Host Institution: UCF

In Collections