Examining Correlates and Consequences of Implicit Theories of Social Anxiety


  • Kyla Doherty* MacEwan University
  • Andrew Howell, PhD MacEwan University


A small but growing literature concerns the application of implicit theories (i.e., incremental and entity mindsets regarding the stability or malleability of attributes, respectively) to disorders and their symptoms. Implicit theories of social anxiety were explored through a cross-sectional study (N =274 undergraduate participants) examined correlations among implicit theories of social anxiety and social anxiety symptoms, emotional regulation, help-seeking, and behavioural engagement. As predicted, incremental mindsets were correlated with lower social anxiety, greater use of emotional reappraisal, more help-seeking behaviour, greater behavioural activation and less behavioural inhibition. In a regression analysis, incremental mindsets predicted social anxiety symptoms above and beyond the remaining variables. Overall, the current findings warrant additional research of implicit theories of social anxiety, in clinical populations with social anxiety disorder to determine if the found correlates will be replicated and exacerbated within a clinical population. *Indicates presenter





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