Brief report information-seeking bias in social anxiety disorder

Idan M. Aderka, Ayala Haker, Sofi Marom, Haggai Hermesh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the present study, we sought to examine information seeking among individuals with social anxiety disorder (SAD, n = 31) and nonanxious controls (n = 32) during an impression-formation task. Participants were given an initial description of a protagonist that included polarized information on the social rank dimension (i.e., dominant or submissive) or on the affiliation dimension (i.e., friendly or unfriendly). Participants were told that their task was to rate the protagonist on social rank and affiliation traits and were given the opportunity to obtain additional information in order to make their decisions. Results indicated that compared to controls, individuals with SAD sought less information before making social rank ratings. In addition, individuals with SAD rated dominant protagonists as higher in social rank than did controls. These findings suggest that even in nonevaluative conditions, individuals with SAD may have an information-seeking bias. In addition, individuals with SAD may have a bias in forming impressions of dominant others. Implications for cognitive and interpersonal models of SAD are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-12
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Abnormal Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitive biases
  • Impression formation
  • Information seeking
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Social rank

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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