Multidimensional fear of failure measurement: The performance failure appraisal inventory

David E. Conroy, Jason P. Willow, Jonathan N. Metzler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

266 Scopus citations


The Performance Failure Appraisal Inventory (PFAI) is a multidimensional measure of cognitive-motivational-relational appraisals associated with fear of failure (FF). College students (N = 544) completed the PFAI and a variety of other measures. Calibration sample analyses reduced the PFAI to 25 items measuring five appraisals in a higher-order factor structure that demonstrated tight cross-validity in the second half of the sample. The five aversive consequences of failure assessed by the PFAI included (a) experiencing shame and embarrassment, (b) devaluing one's self-estimate, (c) having an uncertain future, (d) important others losing interest, and (e) upsetting important others. A five-item short form also demonstrated tight cross-validity. FF was associated with (a) high levels of worry, somatic anxiety, cognitive disruption, and sport anxiety, and (b) low levels of optimism. General FF was unrelated to either perceived competence or fear of success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-90
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Applied Sport Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology


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