The Fear of Positive Evaluation Scale: assessing a proposed cognitive component of social anxiety

Justin W Weeks, Richard G Heimberg, Thomas L Rodebaugh
Journal of Anxiety Disorders 2008, 22 (1): 44-55
Cognitive-behavioral models propose that fear of negative evaluation is the core feature of social anxiety disorder. However, it may be that fear of evaluation in general is important in social anxiety, including fears of positive as well as negative evaluation. To test this hypothesis, we developed the Fear of Positive Evaluation Scale (FPES) and conducted analyses to examine the psychometric properties of the FPES, as well as test hypotheses regarding the construct of fear of positive evaluation (FPE). Responses from a large (n = 1711) undergraduate sample were utilized. The reliability, construct validity, and factorial validity of the FPES were examined; the distinction of FPE from fear of negative evaluation was evaluated utilizing confirmatory factor analysis; and the ability of FPE to predict social interaction anxiety above and beyond fear of negative evaluation was assessed. Results provide preliminary support for the psychometric properties of the FPES and the validity of the construct of FPE. The implications of FPE with respect to the study and treatment of social anxiety disorder are discussed.

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