Adolescents’ biased perceptions about their social competence (SC), whether negatively or positively, serve to influence their socioemotional adjustment such as early feelings of social phobia (nowadays referred to as Social Anxiety Disorder-SAD). Despite the importance of biased self-perceptions in adolescents’ psychosocial adjustment, the extent to which discrepancies between self- and others’ evaluations of one’s SC are linked to social phobic symptoms remains unclear in the literature. This study examined the perceptual discrepancy profiles between self- and peers’ as well as between self- and teachers’ evaluations of adolescents’ SC and the interrelations of these profiles with self-reported social phobic symptoms. The participants were 390 3rd graders (15 years old) of Finnish lower secondary school (50.8% boys, 49.2% girls). In contrast with variable-centered approaches that have mainly been used by previous studies when focusing on this subject, this study used latent profile analysis (LPA), a person-centered approach which can provide information regarding risk profiles by capturing the heterogeneity within a population and classifying individuals into groups. LPA revealed the following five classes of discrepancy profiles: i) extremely negatively biased perceptions of SC, ii) negatively biased perceptions of SC, iii) quite realistic perceptions of SC, iv) positively biased perceptions of SC, and v) extremely positively biased perceptions of SC. Adolescents with extremely negatively biased perceptions and negatively biased perceptions of their own SC reported the highest number of social phobic symptoms. Adolescents with quite realistic, positively biased and extremely positively biased perceptions reported the lowest number of socio-phobic symptoms. The results point out the negatively and the extremely negatively biased perceptions as possible contributors to social phobic symptoms. Moreover, the association of quite realistic perceptions with low number of social phobic symptoms indicates its potential protective power against social phobia. Finally, positively and extremely positively biased perceptions of SC are negatively associated with social phobic symptoms in this study. However, the profile of extremely positively biased perceptions might be linked as well with the existence of externalizing problems such as antisocial behavior (e.g. disruptive impulsivity). The current findings highlight the importance of considering discrepancies between self- and others’ perceptions of one’s SC in clinical and research efforts. Interventions designed to prevent or moderate social phobic symptoms need to take into account individual needs rather than aiming for uniform treatment. Implications and future directions are discussed.
Human biological signals (pulse wave and brain wave, etc.) have a rhythm which shows fluctuations. This study investigates the relationship between fluctuations of biological signals which are shown by a finger plethysmogram (i.e., finger pulse wave) in conversation and anthropophobic tendency, and identifies whether the fluctuation could be an index of mental health. 32 college students participated in the experiment. The finger plethysmogram of each subject was measured in the following conversation situations: Fun memory talking/listening situation and regrettable memory talking/ listening situation for three minutes each. Lyspect 3.5 was used to collect the data of the finger plethysmogram. Since Lyspect calculates the Lyapunov spectrum, it is possible to obtain the largest Lyapunov exponent (LLE). LLE is an indicator of the fluctuation and shows the degree to which a measure is going away from close proximity to the track in a dynamical system. Before the finger plethysmogram experiment, each participant took the psychological test questionnaire “Anthropophobic Scale.” The scale measures the social phobia trend close to the consciousness of social phobia. It is revealed that there is a remarkable relationship between the fluctuation of the finger plethysmography and anthropophobic tendency scale in talking about a regrettable story in conversation: The participants (N=15) who have a low anthropophobic tendency show significantly more fluctuation of finger pulse waves than the participants (N=17) who have a high anthropophobic tendency (F (1, 31) =5.66, p<0.05). That is, the participants who have a low anthropophobic tendency make conversation flexibly using large fluctuation of biological signal; on the other hand, the participants who have a high anthropophobic tendency constrain a conversation because of small fluctuation. Therefore, fluctuation is not an error but an important drive to make better relationships with others and go towards the development of interaction. In considering mental health, the fluctuation of biological signals would be an important indicator.