Avoidant decision-making in social anxiety disorder: A laboratory task linked to in vivo anxiety and treatment outcome

Pittig, Andre ; Alpers, Georg W. ; Niles, Andrea N. ; Craske, Michelle G.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2015.08.003
URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S...
Additional URL: https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Avoidant-dec...
Document Type: Article
Year of publication: 2015
The title of a journal, publication series: Behaviour Research and Therapy
Volume: 73
Page range: 96-103
Place of publication: Amsterdam [u.a.]
Publishing house: Elsevier
ISSN: 0005-7967 , 1873-622X
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Social Sciences > Klinische u. Biologische Psychologie u. Psychotherapie (Alpers 2010-)
Subject: 150 Psychology
Abstract: Recent studies on reward-based decision-making in the presence of anxiety-related stimuli demonstrated that approach-avoidance conflicts can be assessed under controlled laboratory conditions. However, the clinical relevance of these decision conflicts has not been demonstrated. To this end, the present study investigated avoidant decisions in treatment-seeking individuals with social anxiety disorder (SAD). In a gambling task, advantageous choices to maximize gains were associated with task-irrelevant angry faces and disadvantageous choices with happy faces. The clinical relevance of avoidant decisions for in vivo anxiety in a social stress situation (public speaking) were examined (n = 44). In a subsample (n = 20), the predictive value for a reduction of avoidance following behavioral therapy was also evaluated. Results indicated a close link between more frequent avoidant decisions and elevated in vivo anxiety. Moreover, individuals who showed a deficit in the goal-directed adjustment of their decisions also showed higher and sustained distress during the social stressor and reported less decrease of avoidance following treatment. The findings highlight the importance of an avoidant decision-making style for the experience of acute distress and the maintenance of avoidance in SAD. Assessing avoidant decision-making may help to predict the response to behavioral treatments.

Dieser Eintrag ist Teil der Universitätsbibliographie.

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