Probability and cost biases in social phobia: Nature, specificity, and relationship to treatment outcome
Social phobia is maintained in part by cognitive biases concerning the probability and cost of negative social events. More specifically, individuals with social phobia tend to believe that negative social events are extremely likely to occur, and that if such events were to happen, the consequences would be awful or unbearable. The aim of the present review is to critically evaluate research on the nature and specificity of probability and cost biases in social phobia. Changes in probability and cost estimates during treatment and their relationship to treatment outcome are detailed. The review concludes with a discussion of how current cognitive behavioral interventions target these biases. Directions for future research are proposed.