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Although social comparisons have been observed in social anxiety, the effects from the direction of the social comparison have not been adequately tested in social anxiety. This study examined the impact of an upward comparison (UC) vs. same level comparison on negative self-appraisal, negative affect, and anxiety in high vs. low social anxiety. Participants read about another student's adjustment to college in which the person has adjusted better/more smoothly or has adjusted similarly to the participants. Participants completed baseline and post-comparison measures of their negative self-appraisal, negative affect, and anxiety. Although results failed to support the study hypotheses, the manipulation appeared to mostly influence female, but not male participants. Limitations and future directions for examining social comparison in social anxiety are discussed.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Psychology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science.
Includes bibliographical references.
Norman B. Schmidt, Professor Directing Thesis; Thomas E. Joiner, Jr., Committee Member; Jon Maner, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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