A Phenomenological Analysis of Anxiety as Experienced in Social Situations*

In: Journal of Phenomenological Psychology
Timothy J. Beck Saybrook University

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In this study, three individual descriptions of anxiety as experienced in social situations were analyzed so that a general structure representing social anxiety could potentially be obtained. The descriptions analyzed produced results that not only overlapped with already existing literature from various perspectives on the topic, but also highlighted certain key factors that have largely been unaccounted for by prior studies. By utilizing the Descriptive Phenomenological Method in Psychology (Giorgi, ), these factors were brought to light in more depth and clarity than if the same phenomenon were studied using a third person approach. Specifically, six constituents of social anxiety were revealed; including factors related to inter-subjectivity, the relationship between fear and anxiety, and the relationship between desire and self-lack.

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