The relationship between negative interpretation of bodily sensations and social anxiety was investigated, and hypothesized cognitive models were tested using structural equation modeling in performance and social interactive situations. The following interpretations of bodily sensations were examined: (1) the overestimation of the visibility of bodily sensations and (2) the fear of negative evaluation of bodily sensations by others. Undergraduate students (N = 293) responded to a set of measures including the Social Phobia Scale and the Social Interaction Anxiety Scale. Correlation analyses indicated that the two interpretations were positively correlated with each other, as well as with social anxiety. Results of structural equation modeling indicated different structures for models of performance and social interactive situations. In both situations, the fear of negative evaluation of bodily sensations by others mediated the relationship between overestimating the visibility of bodily sensations and social anxiety. However, the perception of bodily sensations was directly predictive of social anxiety only in performance situations. The treatment implications of these findings are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology