Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Sarah Hayes-Skelton

Second Advisor

Lizabeth Roemer

Third Advisor

Laurel Wainwright


The present study investigated differences between individuals with social anxiety disorder (SAD) and non-anxious controls (NAC) on measures of thought processes and anxiety responses surrounding an anxiety-provoking situation. Participants gave a spontaneous speech to an audience and reported their anxiety throughout. Measures of trait decentering and anxiety, situational anxiety, negative thoughts and believability, and willingness to repeat the task were administered. Compared to NAC, individuals with SAD reported a higher prevalence of negative thoughts, found the thoughts more believable, reported lower levels of trait decentering, and reported less willingness to repeat an anxiety-provoking task. Collapsing the groups, we found an inverse relationship between the amount of negative thoughts and willingness to repeat the task, and a positive correlation between decentering and willingness. We did not find evidence to support that decentering and believability moderate this relationship. The present study partially supports the proposed model of SAD, as the SAD and NAC groups differed at each step of the proposed model, however moderation analyses were not significant.