Valentiner, David P.
B.A. (Bachelor of Arts)
Department of Psychology
Social behavior depends one's perceived level of shyness and the degree to which one believes that level of shyness is fixed versus malleable. Shy entity theorists maintain a fixed mindset and believe that shyness is a trait about themselves that cannot be altered. Shy incremental theorists hold a growth mindset and believe that behavior can change with experience (Beer, 2002). Past studies have shown that interventions can alter mindset beliefs and doing so affects behavior and performance (Aronson, Fried, & Good, 2002). Persons with a fixed shyness mindset have a tendency to view situations that provoke anxiety as threatening (Pergamin-Hight, Naim, Bakermans-Kranenburg, Ijzendoorn, & Bar-Haim, 2014). Reappraising the negative arousal that accompanies anxiety as something positive should then reduce threat vigilance, and decrease the likelihood that anxious individuals will perceive future situations as threatening (Brooks, 2014). Shyness related anxiety frequently results in increased attention toward threatening stimuli. This phenomenon is known as attentional bias. The dot probe paradigm has demonstrated attentional bias in anxious individuals (Asmundson & Stein, 1994). If an intervention is successful in altering shyness mindset beliefs, attentional bias should also be lessened. The current study seeks to use latency scores from an emotional pictures dot probe paradigm to assess for a reduction in attentional bias after administration of a shyness mindset intervention in socially anxious college students. No significant differences were found in latency scores between the control and experimental conditions.
Chamberlain, Amber M., "Shyness mindset beliefs and attentional bias: an experimental study" (2016). Honors Capstones. 1013.
Northern Illinois University
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