Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Program Name/Specialization

Social Psychology


Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Nancy L. Kocovski

Advisor Role

PhD Advisor


Post-event processing (PEP) refers to a negative and prolonged rumination following anxiety-inducing social situations and is posited to maintain social anxiety. Because PEP is characterized by thoughts that are judgmental, recurring, and preoccupying, those who engage in PEP appear to lack self-compassion. Self-compassion can be conceptualized as a supportive and open attitude toward negative experiences, with the recognition that these experiences are universal. The purpose of the present research was to examine self-compassion in the context of PEP. In the first manuscript, we found support across two, separate samples (N = 156 undergraduates; N = 150 individuals from the community seeking self-help for social anxiety and shyness) for the negative relationship between self-compassion and PEP. In the second manuscript (N = 98 socially anxious undergraduates), we found that those assigned to a self-compassion condition following a speech experienced less PEP one day later, compared to those in both the negative rumination and writing control conditions. In the third manuscript (N = 66 undergraduates), we found that negative, compared to positive, speech feedback heightened PEP when dispositional self-compassion was low, but not when it was high. Taken together, these findings suggest that self-compassion is relevant to PEP, can be induced as a means of limiting PEP, and continues to buffer against PEP amongst those high on the trait, even after receiving negative performance feedback. Given these findings, clinicians may consider self-compassion as part of treatment protocols for social anxiety and PEP.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season