An investigation into the jumping-to-conclusions bias in social anxiety

Kristy Johnstone, Junwen Chen, Ryan Balzan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    ‘Jumping-to-Conclusions’ (JTC) is a data-gathering bias characterised by hasty decision-making, and is typically seen in individuals with high levels of delusions or paranoia. JTC has also been found in people with high trait and state anxiety. The present study aimed to explore the relationship between JTC and trait social anxiety and state anxiety, given paranoia is common in both social anxiety and psychotic disorders. One-hundred-and-eighty-six undergraduate students were allocated to a manipulation or control condition, and classified as high or low socially anxious. All participants completed the ‘beads task’ to assess JTC, and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (state subscale) to assess state anxiety. Participants in the manipulation condition were given an anxiety-inducing situation. Although the manipulation was effective in inducing state anxiety, there was no significant correlation between JTC and trait or state social anxiety. High socially anxious individuals showed more conservative decision-making than controls over time, which was posited to be caused by inhibited working memory resulting from increased state anxiety.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)55-65
    Number of pages11
    JournalConsciousness and Cognition
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017


    • Beads task
    • Decision making
    • Delusions
    • Jumping to conclusions
    • Social anxiety
    • State anxiety


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