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Title: Choking Under Pressure: Does it get easier with age? How Loneliness affects Social Monitoring across the Lifespan.
Authors: Pearce, E
Barreto, M
Victor, C
Hammond, C
Eccles, A
Richens, M
O'Neil, A
Knowles, M
Qualter, P
Keywords: emotion recognition;social Cognitions;loneliness;social Skills;cognitive bias
Issue Date: 20-Dec-2020
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Citation: Pearce, E., Barreto, M., Victor, C., Hammond, C., Eccles, A.M., Richins, M.T., O’Neil, A., Knowles, M.L. and Qualter, P. (2022) ‘Choking under pressure: Does it get easier with age? How loneliness affects social monitoring across the life span’, International Journal of Behavioral Development, 46 (1), pp. 50–62. doi: 10.1177/0165025420979369.
Abstract: Copyright © The Author(s) 2020. Previous experimental work showed that young adults reporting loneliness performed less well on emotion recognition tasks (Diagnostic Analysis of Nonverbal Accuracy [DANVA-2]) if they were framed as indicators of social aptitude, but not when the same tasks were framed as indexing academic aptitude. Such findings suggested that undergraduates reporting loneliness possessed the social monitoring skills necessary to read the emotions underlying others’ facial expressions, but that they choked under social pressure. It has also been found that undergraduates reporting loneliness have better recall for both positive and negative social information than their non-lonely counterparts. Whether those effects are evident across different age groups has not been examined. Using data from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Loneliness Experiment that included participants aged 16–99 years (N = 54,060), we (i) test for replication in a larger worldwide sample and (ii) extend those linear model analyses to other age groups. We found only effects for participants aged 25–34 years: In this age group, loneliness was associated with increased recall of negative individual information, and with choking under social pressure during the emotion recognition task; those effects were small. We did not find any such effects among participants in other age groups. Our findings suggest that different cognitive processes may be associated with loneliness in different age groups, highlighting the importance of life-course approaches in this area.
ISSN: 0165-0254
Appears in Collections:Dept of Health Sciences Research Papers

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