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Adults with higher social anxiety show avoidant gaze behaviour in a real-world social setting: A mobile eye tracking study.

Konovalova, I., Antolin, J.V., Bolderston, H. and Gregory, N.J., 2021. Adults with higher social anxiety show avoidant gaze behaviour in a real-world social setting: A mobile eye tracking study. PLoS One, 16 (10), e0259007.

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DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0259007

Abstract

Attentional biases are a core characteristic of social anxiety (SA). However, research has yielded conflicting findings and failed to investigate these biases in real, face-to-face social situations. Therefore, this study examined attentional biases in SA by measuring participants' eye gaze within a novel eye-tracking paradigm during a real-life social situation. Student participants (N = 30) took part in what they thought was a visual search study, when a confederate posing as another participant entered the room. Whilst all participants avoided looking at the confederate, those with higher SA fixated for a shorter duration during their first fixation on him, and executed fewer fixations and saccades overall as well as exhibiting a shorter scanpath. These findings are indicative of additional avoidance in the higher SA participants. In contrast to previous experimental work, we found no evidence of social hypervigilance or hyperscanning in high SA individuals. The results indicate that in unstructured social settings, avoidance rather than vigilance predominates, especially in those with higher SA.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:1932-6203
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:36184
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:03 Nov 2021 09:58
Last Modified:03 Nov 2021 09:58

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