Psychologists at Barnard College and Columbia University are conducting a federally-funded research study to understand the daily experiences of people suffering from a severe form of social anxiety disorder (social phobia) known as avoidant personality disorder. People with avoidant personality disorders have fears of being rejected, criticized or humiliated around others, and these fears lead to extreme shyness, inhibited behavior, and avoidance in a wide variety of situations over a period of many years.

This research study uses state-of-the-art assessment methods focusing on the
relationship of personality characteristics to moods, thoughts, and symptoms in daily life. The study does not provide treatment, but participants are paid for their time.

After a brief telephone screening, participants complete an initial interview at our lab on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City, for which they are paid $30.00. This interview is used to determine eligibility for participating in the remainder of the study. Eligible participants are paid up $200.00 for (a) returning to our lab two more times to complete questionnaires and computerized tasks, and (b) completing an electronic diary for 3 weeks.

Barnard College/Columbia University
Principal Investigator: 
Kathy Berenson, PhD, and Geraldine Downey, PhD, Columbia University; Eshkol Rafaeli, PhD, Barnard College
Eligibility Criteria: 

You may be eligible to participate if you are at least 18 years old and if you currently meet diagnostic criteria for any of the following:

  • Avoidant Personality Disorder
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Major Depressive Disorder (unipolar)
Marget Thomas, 212-854-4223 or
New York, NY
New York
Study End Date: 
Fri, 2011-09-30

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