Introduction: Negative social evaluation is associated with psychopathology. Given the frequency of evaluation through increasingly prevalent virtual social networks, increased understanding of the effects of this social evaluation is urgently required.
Methods: A new digital social peer evaluation experiment (digi-SPEE) was developed to mimic everyday online social interactions between peers. Participants received mildly negative feedback on their appearance, intelligence, and congeniality. Two hundred and forty-one young people [58.9% female, aged 18.9 years (15 to 34)] from an ongoing novel general population twin study participated in this study. Positive affect (PA), negative affect (NA), implicit self-esteem, and cortisol were assessed before and after exposure to the social evaluation experiment.
Results: The social evaluation experiment decreased PA (B=-5.25, p
Conclusion: The digi-SPEE represents a social evaluation stressor that elicits biological and implicit and explicit mental changes that are relevant to mechanisms of psychopathology.
- Social evaluation
- psychological stress
- experimental design
- IMPLICIT ASSOCIATION TEST
- NEGATIVE AFFECT