Social Anxiety and the Impact of Stress in Singapore

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Singapore knew as a more competitive country, and it makes many people grow to be more worrying in order to cope with their lifestyles. Stress can be caused by many sorts of emotional trouble and sickness. Social anxiety is a normal emotion that every people surely have experienced it during our daily life. Social anxiety isn't like normal shyness. It will have an effect on our behavior and feelings in addition to impact our daily life. Some studies had discovered that individuals who have high levels of social anxiety, their self-confidence might be low. This studies paper will find out the connection between stress and social anxiety. This research will be using snowball sampling to get a greater number of participants from the unique workplace and get different nationality participants. In this paper, will have three types of the questionnaire to check whether the individuals have or don’t have social anxiety, the stages of stress, and the levels of social anxiety.

Stress and Social Anxiety in Singapore

Singapore is a small country. However, technological development and the economy have been growing very fast. Therefore, it makes this country more and more competitive. According to the Global Competitiveness Report published by the World Economic Forum (2018), Singapore is the second-most economic, competitive country out of 140 countries. Due to this situation, people are more likely to compare; hence it forms a social competition.

For the majority, there may be something inexplicably compelling about the nature of competition. Economists tell us that competition is a critical pressure in retaining effective and efficient markets (Sander, 2015). The sport also plays a significant role in domestic politics, foreign relation, and most sports activities. Even the human quest for romance is not free of competition (Christiansen, & Loeschcke, 1990). Psychologists name competition as an extrinsic incentive. Extrinsic defined as the motivation to adopt a behavior or choice is sourced externally rather than internally (Sander, 2015).

Stress is a significant factor that affects our emotions, cognition, and behavior. Competitive self-confidence is a sureness of feeling not well founded in one’s ability. Social anxiety can be influenced by several factors such as experience and environment, negative beliefs, genetics, neurology, physical triggers, and technology (Joseph, 2017). Nowadays, people use technology to converse more than through face-to-face meetings. According to Drago, (2015), 74% of students using a cell phone when they spent time with their family and friends. Thus, when they need to meet up someone in real life, they will feel uncomfortable, nervous, and scared.

 According to the American Psychological Association (APA), anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of anxiety, concerned mind, and bodily changes like increased blood pressure. It defined as a debilitating and continual worry of social situations involving exposure to strange people or feasible scrutiny by others (Brook, & Schmidt, 2008). Social anxiety can profoundly affect a person’s potential to socialize and communicate with other people. According to some research, social anxiety affects the performance at work for some people; thus, individuals will resign or give up their job due to this anxiety. Social anxiety is different from normal shyness, which is not associated with disability and interference of life.

Statement of Problem

Nowadays, most people living in Singapore are stressed. According to the research from Willis Towers Watson’s in advance 2017, benefits traits Survey discovered that nearly half (44%) of neighborhood employers recognized stress as the primary health issue. 60% of Singaporean workforce experience above the basic stress level and it could be related to the social anxiety levels (Ang, 2018). Therefore, stress might also have a positive correlation with social anxiety.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to find out if stress will positively correlate with social anxiety levels and how does the social comparison affect social anxiety levels. The findings will provide insight on how to control or help people to relieve stress.

Hypothesis

This study has two hypotheses. The first hypothesis is that the stress levels have positively correlated to social anxiety levels. Meaning, when a person has high levels of stress, he or she is likely to have high levels of anxiety. The second hypothesis is that females are more socially anxious than males — this hypothesis based on other studies done by Asher & Aderka (2018).

Definition of Terms

Social anxiety defined as a deep fear of social interactions in a large type of contexts, and anticipatory anxiety that results in social anxiety sufferers to keep away from possibilities for conversation or public speaking.

Adverse outcomes of social anxiety which includes poor verbal communication skills, overly critical self-evaluations of performance and after end conversations or oral presentations. Individuals have low self-esteem and a loss of self-confidence, which is strengthened by regular self-criticism. While no longer interacting with close friends or circle of relatives, people with intense social anxiety have a deep-seated worry of being judged, rejected, embarrassed or humiliated throughout social interactions. As irrational as those fears may be, they're hard to break out. 

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Literature Review

In the DSM-IV outline social anxiety as a concern of public scrutiny or embarrassment. Taijin Kyofusho (TKS), an eastern form of social anxiety, is focused around care for offending others with inappropriate behavior or competitive appearance. Cultural variables can mediate the expression of social anxiety (Kleinknecht, 1997).

However, stress was determined to have interacted with a persona to influence self-assurance, using the behavior of people differing in trait anxiety in contrary guidelines. For example, stress can boom overconfidence in individuals with lower tension, at the same time as reducing self-confidence in individuals with higher anxiety (Goette et al., 2015).

Based on the research accomplished by Steve, (2019), out of all the nations surveyed, while Singapore had the bottom tiers of job satisfaction. 24% stated they're extremely or quite disappointed, employees in Singapore also had the lowest levels of labor-related stress, with 22% saying they felt stressed or overwhelmed ‘constantly’ or ‘most of the time.’

According to a review for gender differences in social anxiety disorder (Asher, 2018), findings indicate that women are highly to have a social anxiety disorder than men. They report high severity and physiological arousal; however, men seek treatment for a greater extent. Negative self-appraisal is a concept to hold social anxiety, especially while evaluating oneself to others. Work on social comparison shows that gender can also moderate the consequences of social comparison in social anxiety (Moscovitch, et, al. (2005). Self-appraisals of the desirability of one's personality can be essential to women, whereas self-appraisal of signs and symptoms of anxiety can be essential to men. Within each gender, people with high social anxiety are predicted to record more negative self-appraisal when evaluating themselves to someone else described as excessive accomplishing (Mellisa, 2013).

Methodology

Research Design

This research will use correlational design, to test the correlation between stress levels and social anxiety levels. Section A is the questions asking respondents about their particulars, section B, C, & D, are related to my research topics (refer to Appendix A).

Sampling

This research will be using snowball sampling, to enlarge the sample pool by giving few participants other questionnaires to provide their friends or family to participate in this research. This study proposes to recruit 70 individuals, from ages18 to 58 years old. Participants will be individuals who are either working, studying, or living in Singapore. This data collection will be conducted in Singapore.

Instrument

This study will be using the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS) developed by Liebowitz (1987). The LSAS is a 24-item self-rated scale, used to assess how social anxiety plays a role in life in various situations. It estimates social anxiety in conditions and the amount of avoidance in those situations. The questions will have zero to three marks; 0-none, 1-mild, 2-moderate, 3-severe. The scores are summed up, and the classification of scores is reflected in Table 1 below. The reliability score of this questionnaire is r = .82.

Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) is another widely used psychological instrument for measuring the perception of stress. It's miles a measure of the degree to which conditions in human beings appraised life as worrying. Objects were designed to evaluate how unpredictable, uncontrollable, and overloaded respondents find their lives to be. The scale also includes several direct queries about current levels of experienced stress. This scale also showed validity correlates with various lifestyles-events score, health services, and depression. Reliability of this scale is r = .78.

PSS ratings are obtained by reversing responses (e.g., 0 = 4, 1 = 3, 2 = 2, 3 = 1 & 4 = 0) to the four positively stated items (items 4, 5, 7, & 8) after which summing throughout all scale items. A short four item scale can be made from questions 2, 4, 5 and 10 of the PSS 10 item scale.

Data Collection and Analysis Procedures

The questionnaires will be given out to participants, and each participant will have three additional surveys to give out to their friends to complete. They can finish the questionnaire at their own pace, but return them within three days to minimize the chances of the questionnaire being lost. Participants can reject to do the survey anytime if they feel uncomfortable. After all, data has been collected; they will be keyed into SPSS for analysis. The study will use correlation and independent sample t-tests to gather the results.

Protection of Human Rights

The questionnaires will not ask the participants’ names or any other identifiers. During the data collection process, they can choose to withdraw anytime if they want to. After the collection of data, all this information will be kept in a locked cabinet, and only the researcher can open it. When the data is analyzed, the information will only be shared with the researcher’s supervisor.

Discussion

The significance of this studies is to discover the connection between stress and social anxiety, and the findings from this study can potentially provide ideas on a way to cope with stress and social anxiety higher on a national level. There are some limitations to this study. As this research will be using snowball sampling, it might only recruit a group of individuals who have similar daily activities. therefore, it might affect the generalizability of the results. in this research participants were targeted who within the age range between 18 to 58, might be a limitation due to the elderly are not included in this studies. they may have a high level of stress than the younger generation. furthermore, this survey will not be conducting face-to-face interviews, so the researcher might be missing some micro-behaviors or facial expressions when the participants are doing the questionnaire.

Conclusion

Stress can be affected in our daily life. If stress found out has a positive correlation to social anxiety, the research will provide some ways to deal with stress and social anxiety. Social anxiety defined as a debilitating and persistent fear of social situations. It may become social anxiety disorder if the time that individuals feel anxious to keep increasing and getting serious.

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