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Face value: eye movements and the evaluation of facial crowds in social anxiety.
J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry. 2011 Sep; 42(3):355-63.JB

Abstract

Scientific evidence is equivocal on whether Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is characterized by a biased negative evaluation of (grouped) facial expressions, even though it is assumed that such a bias plays a crucial role in the maintenance of the disorder. To shed light on the underlying mechanisms of face evaluation in social anxiety, the eye movements of 22 highly socially anxious (SAs) and 21 non-anxious controls (NACs) were recorded while they rated the degree of friendliness of neutral-angry and smiling-angry face combinations. While the Crowd Rating Task data showed no significant differences between SAs and NACs, the resultant eye-movement patterns revealed that SAs, compared to NACs, looked away faster when the face first fixated was angry. Additionally, in SAs the proportion of fixated angry faces was significantly higher than for other expressions. Independent of social anxiety, these fixated angry faces were the best predictor of subsequent affect ratings for either group. Angry faces influence attentional processes such as eye movements in SAs and by doing so reflect biased evaluations. As these processes do not correlate with explicit ratings of faces, however, it remains unclear at what point implicit attentional behaviors lead to anxiety-prone behaviors and the maintenance of SAD. The relevance of these findings is discussed in the light of the current theories.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Clinical Psychology, Behavioral Science Institute, Radboud University, P.B 9104, 6500 HE Nijmegen, The Netherlands. g.lange@psych.ru.nlNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

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

Language

eng

PubMed ID

21419092

Citation

Lange, Wolf-Gero, et al. "Face Value: Eye Movements and the Evaluation of Facial Crowds in Social Anxiety." Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, vol. 42, no. 3, 2011, pp. 355-63.
Lange WG, Heuer K, Langner O, et al. Face value: eye movements and the evaluation of facial crowds in social anxiety. J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry. 2011;42(3):355-63.
Lange, W. G., Heuer, K., Langner, O., Keijsers, G. P., Becker, E. S., & Rinck, M. (2011). Face value: eye movements and the evaluation of facial crowds in social anxiety. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 42(3), 355-63. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbtep.2011.02.007
Lange WG, et al. Face Value: Eye Movements and the Evaluation of Facial Crowds in Social Anxiety. J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry. 2011;42(3):355-63. PubMed PMID: 21419092.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Face value: eye movements and the evaluation of facial crowds in social anxiety. AU - Lange,Wolf-Gero, AU - Heuer,Kathrin, AU - Langner,Oliver, AU - Keijsers,Ger P J, AU - Becker,Eni S, AU - Rinck,Mike, Y1 - 2011/02/22/ PY - 2010/01/22/received PY - 2011/02/01/revised PY - 2011/02/14/accepted PY - 2011/3/23/entrez PY - 2011/3/23/pubmed PY - 2011/9/14/medline SP - 355 EP - 63 JF - Journal of behavior therapy and experimental psychiatry JO - J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry VL - 42 IS - 3 N2 - Scientific evidence is equivocal on whether Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is characterized by a biased negative evaluation of (grouped) facial expressions, even though it is assumed that such a bias plays a crucial role in the maintenance of the disorder. To shed light on the underlying mechanisms of face evaluation in social anxiety, the eye movements of 22 highly socially anxious (SAs) and 21 non-anxious controls (NACs) were recorded while they rated the degree of friendliness of neutral-angry and smiling-angry face combinations. While the Crowd Rating Task data showed no significant differences between SAs and NACs, the resultant eye-movement patterns revealed that SAs, compared to NACs, looked away faster when the face first fixated was angry. Additionally, in SAs the proportion of fixated angry faces was significantly higher than for other expressions. Independent of social anxiety, these fixated angry faces were the best predictor of subsequent affect ratings for either group. Angry faces influence attentional processes such as eye movements in SAs and by doing so reflect biased evaluations. As these processes do not correlate with explicit ratings of faces, however, it remains unclear at what point implicit attentional behaviors lead to anxiety-prone behaviors and the maintenance of SAD. The relevance of these findings is discussed in the light of the current theories. SN - 1873-7943 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/21419092/Face_value:_eye_movements_and_the_evaluation_of_facial_crowds_in_social_anxiety_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0005-7916(11)00030-9 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -