Social Anxiety, Context, and Affiliation: The Mediating Role of Interpersonal Autonomic Physiology
AuthorBoyd, Savannah Marie
AdvisorButler, Emily A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study utilized the Vulnerability-Stress-Adaptation model (Karney & Bradbury, 1995) to investigate how vulnerability (i.e., subclinical levels of social anxiety) and stress (i.e., manipulated social contexts) affected an interpersonal outcome (i.e., affiliation) through an adaptive process (i.e., interpersonal autonomic physiology). The present study utilized data from 58 same-sex, same ethnicity stranger dyads (N =116) who participated in a between-subjects 2 (Social interaction: Talking vs. No Talking) by 2 (Interaction orientation: Competition vs. Cooperation) experiment. Specifically, participants completed a knot-tying task with either a cooperative or competitive framing while either talking or remaining silent. Autonomic nervous system activity was measured continuously with electrocardiograph for both individuals during the interaction. Covariation of interbeat intervals was used to generate two dynamic profiles of interpersonal autonomic physiology. One profile showed an amplifying (i.e., unstable) pattern, while the other showed a damping (i.e., stable) pattern over time. It was hypothesized that conditions which decreased sociality (e.g., competition vs. cooperation) and required disclosure (talking vs. no talking) would be particularly stressful for dyads in which one or both partners were socially anxious. Additionally, it was hypothesized that this stress would be reflected in interpersonal autonomic physiology covariation (i.e., depicted by patterned trajectories), and therefore would reduce affiliation tendencies within the dyads. Models for hypothesis testing were estimated using Bayesian statistics. These hypotheses were not supported, however an exploratory analysis revealed that interpersonal autonomic physiology profile was a likely predictor of perceived similarity to partner after the task. More specifically, the unstable dynamic predicted more perceived similarity to partner, which suggests that interpersonal autonomic physiology could play a role in initial relationship formation.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Family & Consumer Sciences