Blushing and Physiological Arousability in Social Phobia Essay

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Blushing and Physiological Arousability in Social Phobia Introduction This paper will provide a critique of the article titled “Blushing and Physiological Arousability in Social Phobia,” (Gerlach et al., 2001) located in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology (Vol. 110, No. 2). Blushing is defined as: “to become red in the face especially from shame or embarrassment. ” It is believed that blushing involves physiological, behavioral, and cognitive factors which react with one another. The

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All the interviews were audio taped, and an independent rater for accuracy evaluated fifteen of them. The reliability from the rater was excellent, providing a reliability coefficient of 1.00. The participants were also interviewed on whether blushing has ever been a problem for them or if it has ever affected an aspect in their lives at all. If they answered yes to any of those questions, they were placed within the subgroup of persons with previous complaint of blushing. Another interview was conducted to determine which of the participants would be categorized as possessing generalized social phobia. All of the participants, aside from the control group, were asked questions relating to anxiety and distress. The interviewer was to determine whether their anxiety and distress levels met a moderate level based on situations within the AIDS-IV questionnaire. The interviewer then made a decision in regard to their possible diagnosis of generalized social phobia. Twenty-two of the 30 experimental participants were diagnosed with generalized social phobia.


One the first day of actual testing, participants were attached with electrodes and sensors to record physiological factors. A baseline recording was created for each participant. They then sang a song, either “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” or “This Old Man”, alone in a room. The participants were provided with a text of the song to reduce embarrassment during singing. This event was
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