A Comparison of Memory Bias or Selective Information Processing between Patients with Social Phobia Disorder and Normal Individuals

Rajabpour Sharbano, Toozandehjani Hassan

Abstract


In recent years, researches on emotional disorders and phenomenology have been significantly improved. One of these research areas of knowledge is the process of memory bias or information processing in mental disorders. This research is a descriptive and causal-comparative study aimed at investigating selective information processing and role of cognitive attention in this process in patients with social phobia. To this end, two groups of patients with social phobia and normal individuals, each containing 20 individuals, were selected and compared through cluster and random sampling with replacement. The subjects were tested using Stroop test, Recognition test and three questionnaires including Social Anxiety Questionnaire, Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and Beck Depression Inventory. For data analysis, one- factor and two-factor variance analysis test with repeated measures and Scheffe post hoc test were applied. The results indicated that patients with social phobia disorder compared to the control group spend more time processing the sings. Further processing of phobia signs was another result of this research. A significant difference was found between the recognition scores of the two groups. This confirms that the processing has been conscious. No significant difference was observed in examining the effect of different anxiety levels. But patients with social phobia disorder who had higher depression levels spent more time processing the signs. Additionally, it was found that variables of age and education have no effect on the process of attentional bias. Considering the obtained results, it can be said that the content of signs has been effective at the time of color determination. Thus, interference effect cannot be attributed to factors such as the length of words or their difficulty or other factors. Further, factors other than anxiety have been effective in slow performance of patients. Existence of schemas commensurate with the threatening signs in memory and cognitive avoidance (attending to stimuli associated with emotional concerns) has led to bias and conscious processing.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2016.v7n3s3p97


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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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