Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is a highly prevalent and disabling disorder characterized by intrapersonal (self-related) and interpersonal (interaction-related) difficulties. We use the biobehavioral systems of affiliation and status as linchpins connecting intrapersonal and interpersonal bodies of knowledge to frame such difficulties. We suggest that the mismatch in self- and other perceptions contributes to misalignments in interaction patterns, such as reduced alignment (similarity-based complementarity or reciprocity) in affiliative contexts and enhanced alignment (contrastive complementarity) in status-related contexts. Such misaligned interaction patterns affect, in turn, self- and other perceptions of the interacting partners. In SAD, biased intrapersonal constructs and processes contribute to misaligned interpersonal dynamics, which in turn impact intrapersonal constructs, creating a vicious cycle. Future research should seek to combine individual-level and interaction-level data in affiliative and status-based contexts to enhance the understanding and treatment of SAD.
- social anxiety
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