ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
 Volume 7, Issue 4, 619-631, 2016
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Reactions to Prospective Positive vs. Negative Evaluation in the Laboratory: A Comparison of High and Low Socially Anxious Participants

Authors
  Kevin Barber - Department of Psychology and Centre for Mental Health Research, University of Waterloo
  David Moscovitch - Department of Psychology and Centre for Mental Health Research, University of Waterloo

Volume 7, Issue 4, 2016, Pages 619-631
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5127/jep.055116

Abstract
We present a study designed to investigate fear of positive vs. negative evaluation within the context of a laboratory based paradigm designed to evoke social threat. Eighty-nine undergraduates with high (n = 43) or low (n = 46) levels of trait social anxiety took part in a “getting acquainted” task. Participants rated their anxiety about receiving prospective positive vs. negative evaluation in anticipation of receiving public feedback on a filmed introduction of themselves that they had made for an unknown social partner whom they expected they would later meet. Results demonstrated, in contrast to extant theories of fear of positive evaluation in social anxiety, that all participants, including those with high levels of social anxiety, rated the prospect of positive evaluation as anxiety reducing. This finding raises important questions about the construct of fear of positive evaluation and how to measure it “in vivo” in an ecologically valid manner.

Table of Contents
Introduction
Fear of Positive Evaluation
Present Study
Method
 Participants
Measures
Procedure
Results
 Data Integrity and Preliminary Analyses
Equivalence of Groups
Estimated Likelihood of Positive Evaluation
Estimated Likelihood of Negative Evaluation
Fear of Prospective Positive Evaluation
Fear of Prospective Negative Evaluation
Discussion
Acknowledgments
References

Correspondence to
Kevin C. Barber, Department of Psychology and Centre for Mental Health Research, University of Waterloo, 200 University Ave. West, Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G1

Keywords
social anxiety, fear of positive evaluation (FPE), fear of negative evaluation (FNE), social threat, social feedback, speech performance

Dates
Received 30 Jan 2016; Revised 26 Jul 2016; Accepted 26 Jul 2016; In Press 25 Sep 2016







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