Date of Award

Winter 12-2021

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

Psychology

Degree Name

Master of Arts (AM/MA)

Degree Type

Thesis

Abstract

Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is associated with interpersonal impairment. One possible reason for this dysfunction is that people with SAD evaluate others differently on dimensions of warmth and dominance compared to individuals without the disorder. In the current study, we examined whether two core constructs of SAD, fear of negative evaluation and fear of positive evaluation, affect the judgments that people make about groups based on warmth and dominance. We also investigated whether racial similarity (i.e., whether someone is the same race as those they’re interacting with) and ethnic identity (i.e., one’s sense of belonging to a particular social group) played a role in the types of evaluations people made. We created vignettes about groups varying in warmth and dominance, and photos varying in racial makeup. We presented photo-vignette pairs to participants and asked them to rate their desire to interact with the groups described in the photo-vignette. Participants in general reported greater desire to interact with warmer and less dominant groups. People with higher fear of negative evaluation reported higher desire for interaction with warmer groups, and those with higher fear of positive evaluation reported higher desire to interact with less dominant groups. We did not find any support for our hypothesis that people with stronger ethnic identity would show greater desire to interact with groups that were more similar to their race. Implications and directions for further research are discussed.

Language

English (en)

Chair and Committee

Thomas L. Rodebaugh

Committee Members

Calvin K. Lai, Thomas F. Oltmanns

Available for download on Thursday, December 22, 2022

Included in

Psychology Commons

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