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Advances in Psychological Science    2018, Vol. 26 Issue (5) : 859-871     DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2018.00859
Regular Articles |
 Cognitive bias modification of interpretation for social anxiety: A “bottom-up” intervention?
 LIU Bingqian; LI Xuebing
 (Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China) (University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China)
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Abstract   Cognitive models of social anxiety propose that socially anxious individuals tend to interpret ambiguous social events differently than healthy controls, embodying the presence of a negative interpretation bias and a lack of positive interpretation bias. This interpretation bias has been considered to play an important role in the etiology, maintenance, and recurrence of the disease. Many studies suggest that interpretation bias, as well as negative affect, can be directly shifted through repeated experiential practice, known as Cognitive Bias Modification of Interpretation (CBM-I). This has led to a growing interest in exploring the clinical potential of this “bottom-up” intervention. However, there has been some controversy about the heterogeneity of studies and the uncertainty about the cognitive mechanisms of this approach in the recent decade. The present article summarizes the frequently-used paradigms and reviews studies in terms of participants’ age and clinical status. Moreover, it focuses on discussing the potential cognitive mechanisms of CBM-I. An intervention model for the underlying mechanisms is proposed based on established cognitive models of social anxiety disorder and relevant factors (self-imagery, self-esteem, evaluation of threatening messages, fear of positive evaluation, long-term memory, anxiety sensitivity, and avoidance). Limitations of the studies reviewed are analyzed from five aspects: interpretation bias, social anxiety, transfer effect, experimental design and study heterogeneity. Directions for future research are addressed as well.
Keywords social anxiety disorder      social phobia      interpretation bias      interpretation bias modification      interpretation bias training      cognitive bias modification &ndash      interpretation      CBM-I     
Corresponding Authors: LI Xuebing, E-mail:     E-mail: E-mail:
Issue Date: 31 March 2018
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LIU Bingqian,LI Xuebing.  Cognitive bias modification of interpretation for social anxiety: A “bottom-up” intervention?[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2018, 26(5): 859-871.
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