Effects of standard and explicit cognitive bias modification and computer-administered cognitive-behaviour therapy on cognitive biases and social anxiety

Sirous Mobini, Bundy Mackintosh, Jo Illingworth, Lina Gega, Peter Langdon, Laura Hoppitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Background and objectives: This study examines the effects of a single session of Cognitive Bias Modification to induce positive Interpretative bias (CBM-I) using standard or explicit instructions and an analogue of computer-administered CBT (c-CBT) program on modifying cognitive biases and social anxiety.

Methods: A sample of 76 volunteers with social anxiety attended a research site. At both pre- and post-test, participants completed two computer-administered tests of interpretative and attentional biases and a self-report measure of social anxiety. Participants in the training conditions completed a single session of either standard or explicit CBM-I positive training and a c-CBT program. Participants in the Control (no training) condition completed a CBM-I neutral task matched the active CBM-I intervention in format and duration but did not encourage positive disambiguation of socially ambiguous or threatening scenarios.

Results: Participants in both CBM-I programs (either standard or explicit instructions) and the c-CBT condition exhibited more positive interpretations of ambiguous social scenarios at post-test and one-week follow-up as compared to the Control condition. Moreover, the results showed that CBM-I and c-CBT, to some extent, changed negative attention biases in a positive direction. Furthermore, the results showed that both CBM-I training conditions and c-CBT reduced social anxiety symptoms at one-week follow-up.

Limitations: This study used a single session of CBM-I training, however multi-sessions intervention might result in more endurable positive CBM-I changes.

Conclusions: A computerised single session of CBM-I and an analogue of c-CBT program reduced negative interpretative biases and social anxiety.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-279
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
Issue number2
Early online date31 Dec 2013
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014

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