Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 37, Issue 6, pp 1101–1109

In the Presence of Social Threat: Implicit and Explicit Self-Esteem in Social Anxiety Disorder

  • Viktoria Ritter
  • Christine Ertel
  • Katja Beil
  • Melanie C. Steffens
  • Ulrich Stangier
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10608-013-9553-0

Cite this article as:
Ritter, V., Ertel, C., Beil, K. et al. Cogn Ther Res (2013) 37: 1101. doi:10.1007/s10608-013-9553-0
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Abstract

The present study investigated implicit and explicit self-esteem and the effects of co-morbid depressive disorders on both in a clinical sample of patients with Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) (n = 40), and in healthy controls (n = 35) following social-threat induction (giving an impromptu speech). Implicit self-esteem was assessed using an implicit association test. Explicit self-esteem was measured with the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. Results indicated that SAD patients had significantly lower implicit self-esteem, relative to healthy controls, and were also characterized by lower explicit self-esteem. Depressed SAD patients revealed more negative explicit self-esteem than non-depressed SAD patients, but no such group differences were found in implicit self-esteem. There were also strong relationships between patients’ explicit self-esteem and symptoms of social anxiety and depression. The findings support cognitive models of SAD and suggest that biased self-processing works on both implicit and explicit levels. Further, it seems that social anxiety and depression are characterized by differential implicit self-evaluative processes.

Keywords

Implicit self-esteemSocial Anxiety DisorderImplicit association testExplicit self-esteemDepression

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Viktoria Ritter
    • 1
  • Christine Ertel
    • 2
  • Katja Beil
    • 2
  • Melanie C. Steffens
    • 3
  • Ulrich Stangier
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyJ.W. Goethe UniversityFrankfurtGermany
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyF. Schiller UniversityJenaGermany
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Koblenz-LandauLandau/PfalzGermany