The relation between social experience and perspective taking: Assessing deictic relational responding skills in social anxiety using relational frame theory
[S.l. : s.n.]
InFinal Program. The 2013 International Neuropsychological Society Mid-Year Meeting, pp. 17-18
Article in monograph or in proceedings
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SW OZ DCC NRP
SW OZ BSI KLP
Final Program. The 2013 International Neuropsychological Society Mid-Year Meeting
SubjectDI-BCB_DCC_Theme 3: Plasticity and Memory; Experimental Psychopathology and Treatment; Neuropsychology and rehabilitation psychology; Neuro- en revalidatiepsychologie
Objective: One of the abilities involved in social cognition is perspective taking. According to Relational Frame Theory (RFT), perspective taking skills are based on the derivation of relations of perspective, and are learned and practiced in social interactions. Pronounced deficits in the flexibility of these skills have been found in several populations lacking social experience, such as people with autism, schizophrenia and social anhedonia. To examine the role of social experience more closely, the present study assessed flexibility of perspective taking in a socially anxious population. Participants and Methods: We included 13 socially anxious participants and 14 healthy controls in our study, with both groups receiving measurements of intelligence, social anxiety, avoidance and and perspective taking. For the latter, we used a mental attribution task and a computerized version of the Barnes-Holmes protocol. This protocol targets interpersonal (I-You), spatial (Here-There) and temporal (Now-Then) perspective taking relations in varying levels of complexity (simple, reversed and double-reversed). Results: The results indicated that there was a significant difference between groups regarding accuracy on reversed trials of the deictic framing protocol (F [1, 25] = 16.87; p < .001), which remained significant after controlling for intelligence (F [1, 24] = 4.605, p = .042). We also found significant negative correlations between accuracy on reversed trials, and measures of social anhedonia (Pearson's r = -.574; p = .002) and social anxiety (Pearson's r = -.662; p = .000). Conclusions: These results indicate that socially anxious individuals experience some difficulties in perspective taking when a reversal in perspective is required, and that social experience could indeed play a role in perspective taking deficits. Future research should focus on remediating perspective taking relations in clinical groups, to benefit social cognition and functioning.
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