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The article titled, Attention Training in Individuals with Generalized Social Phobia: A Randomized Controlled Trial, the authors look into a novel way with which individuals suffering from social anxiety can be trained to minimize symptoms associated with the condition (Amir, Beard, Taylor, Klumpp, Elias, Burns & Chen, 2009). This brief essay looks to identify the risks, evaluate and consider how such can be minimized concerning the methodology employed in the study.
Looking at the chosen research method for this particular study and by extension, assessing the condition under investigation, one can point out that it may present some significant risk of distress among the enrolled subjects. This is based on the fact that the subjects are vulnerable individuals. The risk of distress among participants or study subjects arises from the fact that the AMP involves a sequence of a consecutive pairing of a threatening of threatening and neutral faces (Amir et al 2009). Given that social phobia is a condition that relates closely to diverse psychiatric conditions, the AMP may induce some considerable degree of distress among the participants. As such, it more likely than not, that some of the faces depicting a threatening social interaction may be relieved in the participants mind such as, to induce flashbacks of a similar real life situation.
In an effort to minimize the occurrence of risks associates, a more intensive screening exercise should be employed. The screening exercise should seek to understand more of each individual participant’s social phobia origin (Amir et al 2009). This will in essence enable the researchers to incorporate faces that can be considered as threatening but ensure the participants do not re-live past traumatic events. Such precautions can serve to ensure the integrity of the entire research study.
Amir, N., Beard, C., Taylor, C. T., Klumpp, H., Elias, J., Burns, M. & Chen, X. (2009). Attention Training in Individuals with Generalized Social Phobia: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 77, (5). 961-973.