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Psychological and biological validation of a novel digital social peer evaluation experiment (digi-SPEE)

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Abstract
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<.001) and implicit self-esteem (B=-.19; p<.001), whereas it increased NA (B=5.99; p<.001) and cortisol levels (B=.07; p<.001). Females (PA: B=-7.62; p<.001; NA: B=8.28; p<.001) and participants with higher levels of general psychological distress (PA: B=-.04, p=.035; NA: B=.06; p=.028) showed stronger affective responses. Stressor-induced cortisol increase was stronger in adolescents under the age of 18 than in participants 18 years and older (B=-.06, p=.002). 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.
Keywords
IMPLICIT ASSOCIATION TEST, SELF-ESTEEM, GENDER-DIFFERENCES, NEGATIVE, AFFECT, REJECTION, CORTISOL, RESPONSES, STRESS, EXPERIENCES, ACCEPTANCE, Social evaluation, psychological stress, psychopathology, experimental, design, cortisol, risk

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Chicago
Menne-Lothmann, Claudia, Jeroen Decoster, Ruud van Winkel, Dina Collip, Bart PF Rutten, Philippe Delespaul, Marc De Hert, et al. 2017. “Psychological and Biological Validation of a Novel Digital Social Peer Evaluation Experiment (digi-SPEE).” Noropsikiyatri Arsivi-archives of Neuropsychiatry 54 (1): 3–10.
APA
Menne-Lothmann, C., Decoster, J., van Winkel, R., Collip, D., Rutten, B. P., Delespaul, P., De Hert, M., et al. (2017). Psychological and biological validation of a novel digital social peer evaluation experiment (digi-SPEE). NOROPSIKIYATRI ARSIVI-ARCHIVES OF NEUROPSYCHIATRY, 54(1), 3–10.
Vancouver
1.
Menne-Lothmann C, Decoster J, van Winkel R, Collip D, Rutten BP, Delespaul P, et al. Psychological and biological validation of a novel digital social peer evaluation experiment (digi-SPEE). NOROPSIKIYATRI ARSIVI-ARCHIVES OF NEUROPSYCHIATRY. 2017;54(1):3–10.
MLA
Menne-Lothmann, Claudia, Jeroen Decoster, Ruud van Winkel, et al. “Psychological and Biological Validation of a Novel Digital Social Peer Evaluation Experiment (digi-SPEE).” NOROPSIKIYATRI ARSIVI-ARCHIVES OF NEUROPSYCHIATRY 54.1 (2017): 3–10. Print.
@article{8540734,
  abstract     = {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{\textlangle}.001) and implicit self-esteem (B=-.19; p{\textlangle}.001), whereas it increased NA (B=5.99; p{\textlangle}.001) and cortisol levels (B=.07; p{\textlangle}.001). Females (PA: B=-7.62; p{\textlangle}.001; NA: B=8.28; p{\textlangle}.001) and participants with higher levels of general psychological distress (PA: B=-.04, p=.035; NA: B=.06; p=.028) showed stronger affective responses. Stressor-induced cortisol increase was stronger in adolescents under the age of 18 than in participants 18 years and older (B=-.06, p=.002). 
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.},
  author       = {Menne-Lothmann, Claudia and Decoster, Jeroen and van Winkel, Ruud and Collip, Dina and Rutten, Bart PF and Delespaul, Philippe and De Hert, Marc and Derom, Catherine and Thiery, Evert and Jacobs, Nele and van Os, Jim and Wichers, Marieke},
  issn         = {1300-0667},
  journal      = {NOROPSIKIYATRI ARSIVI-ARCHIVES OF NEUROPSYCHIATRY},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {3--10},
  title        = {Psychological and biological validation of a novel digital social peer evaluation experiment (digi-SPEE)},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.5152/npa.2017.19318},
  volume       = {54},
  year         = {2017},
}

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