“Fear guides the eyes of the beholder”

Assessing gaze avoidance in social anxiety disorder via covert eye tracking of dynamic social stimuli

Justin W. Weeks, Ashley N. Howell, Akanksha Srivastav, Philip R Goldin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Gaze avoidance is an important feature of social anxiety disorder (SAD) and may serve as a biobehavioral marker of SAD. The purpose of the present study was to replicate and extend findings on gaze avoidance in SAD via eye tracking during a computerized social simulation. Patients with SAD (n = 27) and a (sub)sample of demographically-matched healthy controls (HC; n = 22) completed a computerized, dynamic social simulation task involving video clips of actors giving positive and negative social feedback to the participant. All participants were unknowingly eye tracked during the simulation, and post-study consent was obtained to examine responses. Consistent with the bivalent fear of evaluation (BFOE) model of social anxiety, fear of positive evaluation related systematically to state anxiety in response to positive social feedback, and fear of negative evaluation related systematically to state anxiety in response to negative social feedback. Moreover, compared to HCs, SAD patients exhibited significantly greater global gaze avoidance in response to both the positive and negative video clips. Our results provide strong additional support for gaze avoidance as a biobehavioral marker of SAD, as well as additional support for the BFOE model. Implications for the assessment and treatment of SAD are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-63
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Volume65
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019

Fingerprint

Fear
Anxiety
Surgical Instruments
Social Phobia

Keywords

  • Eye tracking
  • Gaze avoidance
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Social phobia
  • Submissive gestures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

“Fear guides the eyes of the beholder” : Assessing gaze avoidance in social anxiety disorder via covert eye tracking of dynamic social stimuli. / Weeks, Justin W.; Howell, Ashley N.; Srivastav, Akanksha; Goldin, Philip R.

In: Journal of Anxiety Disorders, Vol. 65, 01.06.2019, p. 56-63.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{9eb8d0f5002744a889f401dc7c92d708,
title = "“Fear guides the eyes of the beholder”: Assessing gaze avoidance in social anxiety disorder via covert eye tracking of dynamic social stimuli",
abstract = "Gaze avoidance is an important feature of social anxiety disorder (SAD) and may serve as a biobehavioral marker of SAD. The purpose of the present study was to replicate and extend findings on gaze avoidance in SAD via eye tracking during a computerized social simulation. Patients with SAD (n = 27) and a (sub)sample of demographically-matched healthy controls (HC; n = 22) completed a computerized, dynamic social simulation task involving video clips of actors giving positive and negative social feedback to the participant. All participants were unknowingly eye tracked during the simulation, and post-study consent was obtained to examine responses. Consistent with the bivalent fear of evaluation (BFOE) model of social anxiety, fear of positive evaluation related systematically to state anxiety in response to positive social feedback, and fear of negative evaluation related systematically to state anxiety in response to negative social feedback. Moreover, compared to HCs, SAD patients exhibited significantly greater global gaze avoidance in response to both the positive and negative video clips. Our results provide strong additional support for gaze avoidance as a biobehavioral marker of SAD, as well as additional support for the BFOE model. Implications for the assessment and treatment of SAD are discussed.",
keywords = "Eye tracking, Gaze avoidance, Social anxiety disorder, Social phobia, Submissive gestures",
author = "Weeks, {Justin W.} and Howell, {Ashley N.} and Akanksha Srivastav and Goldin, {Philip R}",
year = "2019",
month = "6",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.janxdis.2019.05.005",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "65",
pages = "56--63",
journal = "Journal of Anxiety Disorders",
issn = "0887-6185",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - “Fear guides the eyes of the beholder”

T2 - Assessing gaze avoidance in social anxiety disorder via covert eye tracking of dynamic social stimuli

AU - Weeks, Justin W.

AU - Howell, Ashley N.

AU - Srivastav, Akanksha

AU - Goldin, Philip R

PY - 2019/6/1

Y1 - 2019/6/1

N2 - Gaze avoidance is an important feature of social anxiety disorder (SAD) and may serve as a biobehavioral marker of SAD. The purpose of the present study was to replicate and extend findings on gaze avoidance in SAD via eye tracking during a computerized social simulation. Patients with SAD (n = 27) and a (sub)sample of demographically-matched healthy controls (HC; n = 22) completed a computerized, dynamic social simulation task involving video clips of actors giving positive and negative social feedback to the participant. All participants were unknowingly eye tracked during the simulation, and post-study consent was obtained to examine responses. Consistent with the bivalent fear of evaluation (BFOE) model of social anxiety, fear of positive evaluation related systematically to state anxiety in response to positive social feedback, and fear of negative evaluation related systematically to state anxiety in response to negative social feedback. Moreover, compared to HCs, SAD patients exhibited significantly greater global gaze avoidance in response to both the positive and negative video clips. Our results provide strong additional support for gaze avoidance as a biobehavioral marker of SAD, as well as additional support for the BFOE model. Implications for the assessment and treatment of SAD are discussed.

AB - Gaze avoidance is an important feature of social anxiety disorder (SAD) and may serve as a biobehavioral marker of SAD. The purpose of the present study was to replicate and extend findings on gaze avoidance in SAD via eye tracking during a computerized social simulation. Patients with SAD (n = 27) and a (sub)sample of demographically-matched healthy controls (HC; n = 22) completed a computerized, dynamic social simulation task involving video clips of actors giving positive and negative social feedback to the participant. All participants were unknowingly eye tracked during the simulation, and post-study consent was obtained to examine responses. Consistent with the bivalent fear of evaluation (BFOE) model of social anxiety, fear of positive evaluation related systematically to state anxiety in response to positive social feedback, and fear of negative evaluation related systematically to state anxiety in response to negative social feedback. Moreover, compared to HCs, SAD patients exhibited significantly greater global gaze avoidance in response to both the positive and negative video clips. Our results provide strong additional support for gaze avoidance as a biobehavioral marker of SAD, as well as additional support for the BFOE model. Implications for the assessment and treatment of SAD are discussed.

KW - Eye tracking

KW - Gaze avoidance

KW - Social anxiety disorder

KW - Social phobia

KW - Submissive gestures

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85066413055&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85066413055&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.janxdis.2019.05.005

DO - 10.1016/j.janxdis.2019.05.005

M3 - Article

VL - 65

SP - 56

EP - 63

JO - Journal of Anxiety Disorders

JF - Journal of Anxiety Disorders

SN - 0887-6185

ER -