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Effects of alcohol on ratings of emotional facial expressions in social phobics.
J Anxiety Disord. 2008 Aug; 22(6):940-8.JA

Abstract

Social phobics have an increased risk of alcoholism. The mechanism behind this co-morbidity is not well understood. According to the appraisal-disruption model [Sayette, M. A. (1993). An appraisal-disruption model of alcohol's effects on stress responses in social drinkers. Psychological Bulletin, 114, 459-476], alcohol disrupts appraisal of threat stimuli unless the stimuli are easy to process. We investigated whether alcohol alters the judgment of emotional facial expressions in social phobics and controls. We also tested the judgment of emotionally ambiguous faces which should be more difficult to process. Forty social phobics and controls rated faces depicting five emotional expressions on an animosity rating scale. For two ambiguous facial expressions, angry, respectively, happy faces were blended with neutral faces. Half of the participants consumed alcohol. Socially phobic participants rated neutral and happy facial expressions as less friendly than controls, irrespective of alcohol consumption. In both groups, consuming alcohol reduced the perceived rejection of angry faces. In line with current theories of social phobia, patients interpreted neutral facial expressions as more rejecting than controls. The rejection perceived in explicitly angry facial expressions was less after drinking alcohol. This reduction of the adversity of socially threatening stimuli by alcohol might act as negative reinforcement and thus contributes to alcohol problems.

Authors+Show Affiliations

University of Münster, Germany.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Comparative Study
Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

17976952

Citation

Stevens, Stephan, et al. "Effects of Alcohol On Ratings of Emotional Facial Expressions in Social Phobics." Journal of Anxiety Disorders, vol. 22, no. 6, 2008, pp. 940-8.
Stevens S, Gerlach AL, Rist F. Effects of alcohol on ratings of emotional facial expressions in social phobics. J Anxiety Disord. 2008;22(6):940-8.
Stevens, S., Gerlach, A. L., & Rist, F. (2008). Effects of alcohol on ratings of emotional facial expressions in social phobics. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 22(6), 940-8.
Stevens S, Gerlach AL, Rist F. Effects of Alcohol On Ratings of Emotional Facial Expressions in Social Phobics. J Anxiety Disord. 2008;22(6):940-8. PubMed PMID: 17976952.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Effects of alcohol on ratings of emotional facial expressions in social phobics. AU - Stevens,Stephan, AU - Gerlach,Alexander L, AU - Rist,Fred, Y1 - 2007/09/29/ PY - 2007/04/13/received PY - 2007/09/20/revised PY - 2007/09/20/accepted PY - 2007/11/3/pubmed PY - 2008/10/25/medline PY - 2007/11/3/entrez SP - 940 EP - 8 JF - Journal of anxiety disorders JO - J Anxiety Disord VL - 22 IS - 6 N2 - Social phobics have an increased risk of alcoholism. The mechanism behind this co-morbidity is not well understood. According to the appraisal-disruption model [Sayette, M. A. (1993). An appraisal-disruption model of alcohol's effects on stress responses in social drinkers. Psychological Bulletin, 114, 459-476], alcohol disrupts appraisal of threat stimuli unless the stimuli are easy to process. We investigated whether alcohol alters the judgment of emotional facial expressions in social phobics and controls. We also tested the judgment of emotionally ambiguous faces which should be more difficult to process. Forty social phobics and controls rated faces depicting five emotional expressions on an animosity rating scale. For two ambiguous facial expressions, angry, respectively, happy faces were blended with neutral faces. Half of the participants consumed alcohol. Socially phobic participants rated neutral and happy facial expressions as less friendly than controls, irrespective of alcohol consumption. In both groups, consuming alcohol reduced the perceived rejection of angry faces. In line with current theories of social phobia, patients interpreted neutral facial expressions as more rejecting than controls. The rejection perceived in explicitly angry facial expressions was less after drinking alcohol. This reduction of the adversity of socially threatening stimuli by alcohol might act as negative reinforcement and thus contributes to alcohol problems. SN - 0887-6185 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/17976952/Effects_of_alcohol_on_ratings_of_emotional_facial_expressions_in_social_phobics_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0887-6185(07)00178-8 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -