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Social anxiety changes the way we move-A social approach-avoidance task in a virtual reality CAVE system.
PLoS One. 2019; 14(12):e0226805.Plos

Abstract

Investigating approach-avoidance behavior regarding affective stimuli is important in broadening the understanding of one of the most common psychiatric disorders, social anxiety disorder. Many studies in this field rely on approach-avoidance tasks, which mainly assess hand movements, or interpersonal distance measures, which return inconsistent results and lack ecological validity. Therefore, the present study introduces a virtual reality task, looking at avoidance parameters (movement time and speed, distance to social stimulus, gaze behavior) during whole-body movements. These complex movements represent the most ecologically valid form of approach and avoidance behavior. These are at the core of complex and natural social behavior. With this newly developed task, the present study examined whether high socially anxious individuals differ in avoidance behavior when bypassing another person, here virtual humans with neutral and angry facial expressions. Results showed that virtual bystanders displaying angry facial expressions were generally avoided by all participants. In addition, high socially anxious participants generally displayed enhanced avoidance behavior towards virtual people, but no specifically exaggerated avoidance behavior towards virtual people with a negative facial expression. The newly developed virtual reality task proved to be an ecological valid tool for research on complex approach-avoidance behavior in social situations. The first results revealed that whole body approach-avoidance behavior relative to passive bystanders is modulated by their emotional facial expressions and that social anxiety generally amplifies such avoidance.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychology, Biological Psychology, Clinical Psychology, and Psychotherapy, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany.Department of Psychology, Biological Psychology, Clinical Psychology, and Psychotherapy, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany. Center of Mental Health, Medical Faculty, University of Würzburg, Germany.

Pub Type(s)

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

Language

eng

PubMed ID

31869406

Citation

Lange, Bastian, and Paul Pauli. "Social Anxiety Changes the Way We move-A Social Approach-avoidance Task in a Virtual Reality CAVE System." PloS One, vol. 14, no. 12, 2019, pp. e0226805.
Lange B, Pauli P. Social anxiety changes the way we move-A social approach-avoidance task in a virtual reality CAVE system. PLoS One. 2019;14(12):e0226805.
Lange, B., & Pauli, P. (2019). Social anxiety changes the way we move-A social approach-avoidance task in a virtual reality CAVE system. PloS One, 14(12), e0226805. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0226805
Lange B, Pauli P. Social Anxiety Changes the Way We move-A Social Approach-avoidance Task in a Virtual Reality CAVE System. PLoS One. 2019;14(12):e0226805. PubMed PMID: 31869406.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Social anxiety changes the way we move-A social approach-avoidance task in a virtual reality CAVE system. AU - Lange,Bastian, AU - Pauli,Paul, Y1 - 2019/12/23/ PY - 2018/11/30/received PY - 2019/12/05/accepted PY - 2019/12/24/entrez PY - 2019/12/24/pubmed PY - 2020/4/9/medline SP - e0226805 EP - e0226805 JF - PloS one JO - PLoS One VL - 14 IS - 12 N2 - Investigating approach-avoidance behavior regarding affective stimuli is important in broadening the understanding of one of the most common psychiatric disorders, social anxiety disorder. Many studies in this field rely on approach-avoidance tasks, which mainly assess hand movements, or interpersonal distance measures, which return inconsistent results and lack ecological validity. Therefore, the present study introduces a virtual reality task, looking at avoidance parameters (movement time and speed, distance to social stimulus, gaze behavior) during whole-body movements. These complex movements represent the most ecologically valid form of approach and avoidance behavior. These are at the core of complex and natural social behavior. With this newly developed task, the present study examined whether high socially anxious individuals differ in avoidance behavior when bypassing another person, here virtual humans with neutral and angry facial expressions. Results showed that virtual bystanders displaying angry facial expressions were generally avoided by all participants. In addition, high socially anxious participants generally displayed enhanced avoidance behavior towards virtual people, but no specifically exaggerated avoidance behavior towards virtual people with a negative facial expression. The newly developed virtual reality task proved to be an ecological valid tool for research on complex approach-avoidance behavior in social situations. The first results revealed that whole body approach-avoidance behavior relative to passive bystanders is modulated by their emotional facial expressions and that social anxiety generally amplifies such avoidance. SN - 1932-6203 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/31869406/Social_anxiety_changes_the_way_we_move_A_social_approach_avoidance_task_in_a_virtual_reality_CAVE_system_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -