This article was originally published here
J Affect Disord. 2022 Apr 28:S0165-0327(22)00474-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2022.04.130. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Social anxiety is highly prevalent and has increased in young adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since social anxiety negatively impacts interpersonal functioning, identifying aspects of social cognition that may be impaired can increase our understanding of the development and maintenance of social anxiety disorder. However, to date, studies examining associations between social anxiety and social cognition have resulted in mixed findings.
METHODS: The aim of this systematic review was to summarize the literature on the association between social anxiety and social cognition, while also considering several potential moderators and covariates that may influence findings.
RESULTS: A systematic search identified 48 studies. Results showed mixed evidence for the association between social anxiety and lower-level social cognitive processes (emotion recognition and affect sharing) and a trend for a negative association with higher-level social cognitive processes (theory of mind and empathic accuracy). Most studies examining valence-specific effects found a significant negative association for positive and neutral stimuli.
LIMITATIONS: Not all aspects of social cognition were included (e.g., attributional bias) and we focused on adults and not children, limiting the scope of the review.
CONCLUSIONS: Future studies would benefit from the inclusion of relevant moderators and covariates, multiple well-validated measures within the same domain of social cognition, and assessments of interpersonal functioning outside of the laboratory. Additional research examining the moderating role of attention or interpretation biases on social cognitive performance, and the potential benefit of social cognitive skills training for social anxiety could inform and improve existing cognitive behavioral interventions.
PMID:35490878 | DOI:10.1016/j.jad.2022.04.130