New research from Queen’s University suggests this is because it changes the way people perceive the world (Heenan & Troje, 2014).
In the study, participants watched a point-light display of a human figure walking.
The figure walked in such a way that it’s difficult to tell whether it’s coming towards you or going away.
Socially anxious people, though, show a bias towards perceiving the figure as coming towards them, since this is more threatening.
Participants in this study were shown the walking figure sometimes after they’d performed a muscle relaxation technique, other times after some exercise and other times after standing still.
The study’s lead author, Adam Heenan, explained the results: Continue reading.
Originally posted on PsyBlog.