This study examines whether combined cognitive bias modification for interpretative biases (CBM-I) and computerised cognitive behaviour therapy (C-CBT) can produce enhanced positive effects on interpretation biases and social anxiety. Forty socially anxious students were randomly assigned into two conditions, an intervention group (positive CBM-I + C-CBT) or an active control (neutral CBM-I + C-CBT). At pre-test, participants completed measures of social anxiety, interpretative bias, cognitive distortions, and social and work adjustment. They were exposed to 6 × 30 min sessions of web-based interventions including three sessions of either positive or neutral CBM-I and three sessions of C-CBT, one session per day. At post-test and two-week follow-up, participants completed the baseline measures. A combined positive CBM-I + C-CBT produced less negative interpretations of ambiguous situations than neutral CBM-I + C-CBT. The results also showed that both positive CBM-I + C-CBT and neutral CBM-I + C-CBT reduced social anxiety and cognitive distortions as well as improving work and social adjustment. However, greater effect sizes were observed in the positive CBM-I + C-CBT condition than the control. This indicates that adding positive CBM-I to C-CBT enhanced the training effects on social anxiety, cognitive distortions, and social and work adjustment compared to the neutral CBM-I + C-CBT condition.
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- social anxiety
- cognitive bias modification
- computerised cognitive behaviour therapy