A cognitive-behavioral model of anxiety in social phobia

Behav Res Ther. 1997 Aug;35(8):741-56. doi: 10.1016/s0005-7967(97)00022-3.


The current paper presents a model of the experience of anxiety in social/evaluative situations in people with social phobia. The model describes the manner in which people with social phobia perceive and process information related to potential evaluation and the way in which these processes differ between people high and low in social anxiety. It is argued that distortions and biases in the processing of social/evaluative information lead to heightened anxiety in social situations and, in turn, help to maintain social phobia. Potential etiological factors as well as treatment implications are also discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Phobic Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Social Behavior Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Social Perception*