타인에 대한 평가는 사회적 맥락에 따라 달라질 수 있다. 본 연구에서는 타인의 사회적 유능성을 평가할 때 사회불안의 수준에 따라 맥락의 효과가 달라지는지를 확인하고자 하였다. 120명(남 60, 여 60)의 대학생에게 사회불안의 정도를 측정한 후 대상의 무표정한 중립 얼굴을 단독으로, 혹은 그를 쳐다보고 있는 다른 두 사람이 있는 상황을 제시한 후 그에 대한 사회적 유능성을 평정하도록 하였다. 이때 다른 두 사람의 표정은 기쁨, 분노, 중립, 혐오 중 하나로 제시하였으며, 제시 시간은 500 ms와 반응할 때까지 2종류로 제시하였다. 실험 결과, 자극의제시 시간이 길어질수록 정서 표정의 영향을 더 크게 받는 것으로 나타났다. 특히 사회불안 측정치가 높을수록 남성의 경우에는 기쁨과 중립의 관찰자가 있을 때 더욱 유능하다고 평정한 반면, 여성의 경우에는 분노, 혐오와 중립의 관찰자가 있을 때 더욱 무능하다고 평정하였다. 이는 제시 시간과 사회불안의 수준에 따라 타인의 사회적 유능성 평정에서 맥락 효과가 다르게 나타나며, 특히 성별에 따라 다를 가능성을 시사한다.
When people judge how competent others are in society, the judgement highly depends on the social context. The objective of this study is to confirm whether the levels of social anxiety symptoms influence the contextual effect on people’s judgement toward others’ social competence. In the experiment, a total of 120 individuals (60 males, 60 females) completed self-report scales about social anxiety and depression. The participants made responses about their target’s social competence when they were shown the target’s neutral expression either with the target alone or with the presence of two additional observers’ staring at the target. The observers exposed facial expressions of either joyful, angry, neutral or disgust, either for 500 ms or until response. Results showed that the effect of the observer’s emotional expression was proportional to the duration. Especially, when the levels of social anxiety symptoms were high, male participants judged the target to be more competent with the presence of neutral or joyful observers, whereas female participants judged the target to be more incompetent with the presence of angry, disgust or neutral observers. The results indicate that the contextual effects on judgement of social competence depend on the duration of exposure, level of social anxiety, and especially, gender difference.
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