540 McCallie Ave, 357 View map
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540 McCallie Ave

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The UTC Graduate School is pleased to announce that Audrey Darnbush will present Master's research titled, Emotion Recognition in Individuals with Social Anxiety: Loving-Kindness as an Intervention on 06/23/2023 at 2pm in 540 McCallie, Room 357. Everyone is invited to attend. 

Psychology

Chair: Dr Ashley N Howell

Abstract:
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 (e.g., that a neutral facial expression equates boredom); and negatively biased (2) self-focused attention (e.g., sound of voice; shaky hands) and (3) others-focused attention (e.g., attending only to frowning, not smiling, faces in an audience) in social situations— which can impede 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. Loving-kindness meditation (LKM) is a specific subtype of mindfulness aimed to enhance empathic understanding of emotional and situational awareness of self and others. Loving-kindness meditation, therefore, shows promise in social anxiety treatment by targeting emotion recognition in both self and others. This study empirically assessed the possible impact of a guided loving-kindness meditation induction on a subsequent emotion recognition performance, as well as self-reported trait measures. Individuals were given the Geneva Emotion Recognition Task (GERT) after completing either a control condition (progressive Muscle Relaxation) or the experimental condition (loving-kindness meditation). We hypothesized that participants within the experimental LKM group will perform better on the GERT than the control group. Results indicated a significant difference between the group, with the LKM group scoring better on the GERT, t(75) = -2.0, p < 0.05. The effect size was moderate (d = -.50). Correlational analysis showed moderate relationships between MINI-SPIN scores and State-Trait Anxiety (STAI) and alexithymia (TAS-20), as well as between Positive/Negative Affect (PANAS) and the MINI-SPIN.

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