Assessing deictic relational responding in individuals with social anxiety disorder: Evidence of perspective-taking difficulties
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SourcePsychological Record, 64, 1, (2014), pp. 21-29
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectDI-BCB_DCC_Theme 3: Plasticity and Memory; Experimental Psychopathology and Treatment; Neuropsychology and rehabilitation psychology; Neuro- en revalidatiepsychologie
The present study uses a relational frame approach (Hayes, Barnes-Holmes, and Roche, 2001) to perspective taking for individuals suffering from social anxiety disorder (SAD). Perspective taking is conceptualized as the ability to relate events in accordance with the deictic frames of I-You, Here-There, and Now-Then. We hypothesized that the systematic underrehearsal of such behavioral repertoires, set off by the characteristic avoidance of social encounters in patients with SAD, could contribute to an impairment of perspective taking. We examined deictic relational responding skills in a sample of adults suffering from SAD and compared their performances with an age-matched sample of healthy peers. Participants with SAD performed significantly less accurately across all trial types, with group differences reaching significance for reversed trials (i.e., trials demanding a shift in perspective taking). Results indicated more pronounced difficulties at an earlier stage of perspective taking for those individuals diagnosed with SAD. Methodological shortcomings and implications for further research and training were discussed.
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