Social anxiety disorder and memory for positive feedback.

Clinical theorists postulate that individuals with social anxiety disorder (SAD) display memory biases such that recall of social events becomes more negative with time; however, alternative memory models have also been proposed. Research has focused predominantly on selective recall of negative information with inconsistent findings. The goal of the current study was to examine potential biases in recall of positive social feedback. Individuals with SAD (n = 59) and nonanxious community controls (n = 63) engaged in an unexpected public speaking task and received standardized positive or neutral feedback on their speech. Participants were asked to recall the feedback after 5 minutes and after 1 week. Results indicated that at delayed recall, individuals with SAD recalled positive feedback as less positive than it had been. The findings support cognitive models of SAD and extend the model to positive social information. Research is needed to understand the mechanisms that underlie fading positivity. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)