Social anxiety is linked to impaired memory for positive social events

People with social anxiety tend to have a harder time remembering social scenarios that end positively, according to new research published in the journal Cognition and Emotion. The study provides more evidence that social anxiety is related to biases in memory.

“Prior research has suggested that symptoms of social anxiety are related to memory biases for autobiographical information, and particularly biases for negative social information,” explained study author Mia Romano of the University of Waterloo.

“We were interested in trying to understand whether or not these biases occur only for social information that is negative, specifically, or whether perhaps such biases might extend to positive social information, or even non-social information.”

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“We found that participants with high levels of social anxiety had worse memory for the details of the scenarios that had a positive outcome,” Romano told PsyPost.

“It could be that such positive social information was less memorable for these participants because this type of information doesn’t conform to the typically negative social schema held by individuals with high levels of social anxiety.” —PsyPost