Social anxiety and the experience of positive emotion and anger in everyday life: an ecological momentary assessment approach.Anxiety Stress Coping. 2010 May; 23(3):259-72.AS
A few recent studies have found evidence showing that social anxiety is associated with diminished positive affect and elevated anger. However, prior work has relied on trait self-report measures of global positive mood or anger. In this preliminary study, we examined how trait social anxiety relates to moment-to-moment positive and angry emotional states as people navigate through their natural environment in a given day. Of additional interest was whether any associations were limited to social situations or were evident more broadly in non-social situations as well. For 14 days, 38 non-clinical community adults carried electronic diaries to assess their experience of positive emotions, anger, and their current social context and activity. Participants were randomly prompted up to four times per day, leading to 1702 observations. Results showed that social anxiety was associated with less time spent feeling happy and relaxed and more time spent feeling angry throughout the day. In general, people felt happier when they were with other people compared to being alone. Interestingly, people with relatively higher levels of social anxiety reported fewer and less intense positive emotions and greater anger episodes across social and non-social situations.