Thursday, September 16, 2010

Social Phobia Essay

Social Phobia Essay

A correlational study was used in journal article, Personality Factors Associated with Generalized and Non-Generalized Social Anxiety. The aim of the study was to determine if the participants’ scores on measures of generalized and non-generalized social anxiety are predicted by different personality factors. Ninety-five male and female university students with a mean age of 20.36 voluntarily participated in the study.

The participants were to complete two measures of social anxiety, the Social Phobia Scale (SPS) and the Social Interaction Anxiety Scale (SIAS). The SPS and SIAS each consist of 20 scales to assess fears of the participants during social interaction and while being scrutinized during routine activities. Furthermore, they also had to complete two personality scales, the NEO-Five Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) and the Anxiety Sensitivity Index (ASI). The NEO-FFI consists of 60 items for which the participants had to indicate the degree to which they agreed or disagreed with each item. The items were based on 5 personality dimensions: Neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness and conscientiousness. The ASI consisted of a 16 item self-report measure of fear of anxiety symptom based on the belief that these symptoms have harmful consequences. The results showed that twenty-two of the twenty-eight correlations showed significant relationships (p<0.05).

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Nairne et al. do not use the findings from the article to convey their point of view. The only information presented in the text is the five NEO-FFI measures of personality: extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness. Nairne et al. use the NEO-FFI measure to describe the different aspects that make up the dimensions of personality. This seems to be the only information that Nairne et al. used from the article as the study itself was a preliminary study for future studies. The limitations of the study were that the study was performed on limited participants and that the SIAS and SPS scales in this experiment are not diagnostic instruments. The participants in this experiment were university students who only represent a small population of society which means that the results cannot be generalized across all members of society. Furthermore, the scores of the participants who were university students were well below that of social phobics. This further reinforces the notion that one cannot generalize or use the findings presented in the article to understand personality. Secondly, the SIAS and SPS scales used in this experiment are not identical and not diagnostic instruments. The researchers of the experiment counter by saying that researchers believe that social phobia is on a continuum with social anxiety and that everyone experiences it from time to time.

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