Journal article

Choking Under Social Pressure: Social Monitoring Among the Lonely

Megan L Knowles, Gale M Lucas, Roy F Baumeister, Wendi L Gardner

PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY BULLETIN | SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC | Published : 2015

Abstract

Lonely individuals may decode social cues well but have difficulty putting such skills to use precisely when they need them--in social situations. In four studies, we examined whether lonely people choke under social pressure by asking participants to complete social sensitivity tasks framed as diagnostic of social skills or nonsocial skills. Across studies, lonely participants performed worse than nonlonely participants on social sensitivity tasks framed as tests of social aptitude, but they performed just as well or better than the nonlonely when the same tasks were framed as tests of academic aptitude. Mediational analyses in Study 3 and misattribution effects in Study 4 indicate that anx..

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Funding Acknowledgements

The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Some of the research was conducted while the first author was supported by a Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation.