Department

Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Brett Deacon

Description

Social Phobia effects as much as 13% of the population over the course of their lifetime. Social phobia is characterized by intense fear of social situations where one might be scrutinized by others and can range from a more general form to a more situation specific fear. In addition patients who develop this disorder may suffer deficits in their quality of living making this disorder a very prevalent anxiety disorder to study. This paper concentrates primarily on a cognitive behavioral approach to social phobia and will review literature on social phobia focusing on cognitive behavioral causes, perpetuators, and possible treatments. The paper will first look at learning theories and evolutionary theories as potential causes. Then, specifically the paper will look at common beliefs that patients have such as negative mental representations of the self as well as their tendency to overestimate the likelihood and cost of the feared outcome. Safety behaviors and attentional biases will also be examined as possible perpetuators. Lastly, Cognitive-Behavioral therapy will be considered as well as possible improvements and adjustments to the therapy.

Comments

Oral Presentation, UW Honors Program

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A Cognitive Behavioral Approach to Social Phobia

Social Phobia effects as much as 13% of the population over the course of their lifetime. Social phobia is characterized by intense fear of social situations where one might be scrutinized by others and can range from a more general form to a more situation specific fear. In addition patients who develop this disorder may suffer deficits in their quality of living making this disorder a very prevalent anxiety disorder to study. This paper concentrates primarily on a cognitive behavioral approach to social phobia and will review literature on social phobia focusing on cognitive behavioral causes, perpetuators, and possible treatments. The paper will first look at learning theories and evolutionary theories as potential causes. Then, specifically the paper will look at common beliefs that patients have such as negative mental representations of the self as well as their tendency to overestimate the likelihood and cost of the feared outcome. Safety behaviors and attentional biases will also be examined as possible perpetuators. Lastly, Cognitive-Behavioral therapy will be considered as well as possible improvements and adjustments to the therapy.