How Cognitive Distortions Maintain Social Anxiety

A study asked individuals, with and without social anxiety, about their expectations regarding various social events. The subjects were questioned about the probability of something happening to them, such as making a social blunder, and what they thought the consequences would be. The results indicated that the socially anxious people overestimated both the probability and the severity of negative social events. They expected negative social events to be more likely to occur, and the consequences of these events to be more severe. In other words, they were making negative predictions.  Interestingly, these differences were found only when they were asked about social events, not other situations.

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