New study seeks understanding of effects of social phobia
Social phobia or social anxiety disorder is a common and distressing problem that can cause sufferers immense difficulties in all areas of their lives, affecting their performance at work and personal relationships.
Now, a team of researchers at the University of Southampton is about to embark on a study which aims to develop a better understanding of how emotions such as social phobia affect sufferers’ thinking and attention. Their findings could help to develop strategies in the future to treat people who experience high levels of anxiety in social situations.
Social phobia is much more severe than just shyness. It is characterised by a marked fear or dread of social situations and of behaving in an embarrassing way whilst talking or meeting with other people, especially strangers. Up to one in ten people experience some degree of social phobia and almost twice as many women are affected than men.
The research team is currently looking to recruit volunteers in the Southampton area to take part in the study. Volunteers should be aged between 18 and 65 years and regularly experience high levels of personal distress in social or performance situations. They may also avoid these kinds of situations altogether in order to avoid becoming distressed.
The study will involve a short interview during which participants will be asked about their experiences. They will then have to complete a short series of computer-based tasks and a number of questionnaires. Where appropriate, there will be an opportunity to discuss possible treatment options with members of the research team.
Dr David Baldwin, a Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry in the University’s School of Medicine who is one of the leaders of the research team, says: ‘This new study builds on our earlier work in this area. We aim to develop a better understanding of the relationships between emotions, thinking and attention to different types of information. We hope the findings will prove useful in devising new treatment approaches for this common and very upsetting medical condition.’
The research is being carried out in collaboration between researchers in the Schools of Psychology and Medicine and doctors in the Mood Disorders Service at the Royal South Hants Hospital in Southampton.
Sarah Watts | alfa
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...