Howell, Ashley N.
Ross, David; Doyle, Kevin
College of Arts and Sciences
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
Deficits in emotion recognition can often be found in individuals who have elevated social anxiety—decreasing positive social interaction and increasing social avoidance. Some possible causes for these deficits include: (1) negative interpretation biases for ambiguous social stimuli and (2) negatively biased self-focused and others-focused attention in social situations— which can impede an accurate appraisal of how one is being evaluated. Mindfulness-based interventions target attentional awareness, and some have empirical support for treating anxiety-related issues. However, little research has been conducted to determine the possible therapeutic effects of loving-kindness meditation for social anxiety disorder. Loving-kindness meditation (LKM) is a specific subtype of mindfulness aimed at enhancing empathic understanding of emotional and situational awareness of self and others and, therefore, shows promise in social anxiety treatment by targeting emotion recognition in self and others. This study assessed the potential impact of a guided LKM induction on subsequent emotion recognition performance, as well as relationships among self-reported trait measures, such as social anxiety symptom severity, difficulties with emotion regulation, positive/negative affect, etc. Participants in the LKM group scored significantly better on the emotion recognition task than participants in a control group. The effect size was moderate. Exploratory analyses indicated moderate correlations between trait social anxiety severity and self-reported alexithymia symptoms.
I would like to thank my parents for always supporting me and encouraging me to follow my dreams. To my friends, who uplifted me when I struggled. I would also like to thank URACE for granting me the SEARCH Award, which funded this project. To my committee members, David Ross and Kevin Doyle who stood by me for several years. And to my committee chair, Ashley N. Howell, who believed in me and was always willing to lend a hand.
M. S.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.
Mindfulness (Psychology); Social phobia--Treatment; Emotion recognition
ix, 76 leaves
Darnbush, Audrey, "Emotion recogniton in students with social anxiety: loving-kindness as an intervention" (2023). Masters Theses and Doctoral Dissertations.