Fear of evaluation unpacked: day-to-day correlates of fear of negative and positive evaluation

Julia Reichenberger, Joshua M. Smyth, Jens Blechert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background and objectives: Social interactions inevitably go along with repeated evaluations. Some individuals are particularly sensitive to social evaluations: Psychometric studies suggest stable and distinct individual differences on fear of negative evaluations (FNE) and fear of positive evaluation (FPE). However, little is known about day-to-day correlates of FNE and FPE, particularly their respective contribution to positive/negative affect level and affect reactivity to different stressor types. Design: Two studies naturalistically assessed the level of negative/positive affect and its reactivity to different stressor types (from distant or close social network, work and daily hassles, assessed daily) as a function of FNE/FPE. Method: Ecological Momentary Assessment employed five daily prompts during 12/10 days in convenience samples of 50/59 participants. Results: FNE predicted lower positive affect level only in Study 2. Consistent across studies negative affect reactivity to stressors emanating from the distant social network was increased in individuals high in FNE or FPE. Conclusions: Results document the relevance of both types of evaluation fears (FNE/FPE) for day-to-day affect and stress reactivity. They further specify whose evaluations are well tolerated (close network) or feared (distant network), thereby refining current psycho-evolutionary accounts of FNE/FPE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-174
Number of pages16
JournalAnxiety, Stress and Coping
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 4 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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