An Initial Investigation of the Use of Comparative Referents to Assess Social Anxiety Article (Web of Science)


  • Abstract. The current study examined the validity of two self-report measures of social anxiety constructed using social comparative referent points. It was hypothesized that these comparison measures would be both reliable and valid. Results indicated that two different comparative versions – one invoking injunctive norms and another invoking descriptive norms – showed good reliability, excellent internal consistency, and acceptable convergent and discriminant validity. The comparative measures also predicted positive functioning, some aspects of social quality of life, and social anxiety as measured by an independent self-report. These findings suggest that adding a comparative reference point to instructions on social anxiety measures may aid in the assessment of social anxiety.


  • Seligman, Laura D.
  • Swedish, Erin F.
  • Rose, Jason P
  • Baker, Jessica M.

publication date

  • 2018

number of pages

  • 8

start page

  • 367

end page

  • 375


  • 34


  • 6