Fear of Negative Evaluation Results

Written by on October 10, 2011 with 0 Comments

Interpreting Your FNE Score

Low Scorers (0-12)

People who score low on this scale are often described by others as relaxed in social situations, dominant, and open to new experiences. If you scored in this range and feel comfortable that these adjectives describe you as you see yourself, that’s great. You probably find it easy to take tests such as this one, unafraid of what the results will be. In
fact, you may find pleasure in entering situations where others fear to tread, often having your own confidence serve as a model to encourage others.

Average Scorers (13-20)

The 33 percent of the people who score in this range are possibly seen by some as fearful of entering social-evaluative situations.

Other people, however, may see you, if you scored here, as confident and unafraid of negative evaluation. The apparent paradox results from the situations themselves. As you look back over the items, think about any specific situations in which you particularly worry about negative evaluation. For example, at work you may be seen as a confident, risk-taking individual, while in social situations you may worry constantly about looking foolish. Different feelings in different situations, however, are normal and need not be a problem
for you.

High Scorers (21-30)

People who score high on this scale are usually apprehensive about what other people think of them. This can cause less than enjoyable social and work relationships.

As a high scorer, you probably find yourself quite distressed when negatively evaluated and often avoid situations where a negative evaluation is possible. This does not necessarily mean that you always evaluate yourself in a negative light, though that may be the unhappy companion of worrying about what others think of you. It does mean that, for some reason, you may have learned that acting defensive, subservient, and perhaps self-effacing is the best way to avoid having others criticize you. If these statements are true for you, taking this test and reading this interpretation of your score may have, unfortunately, confirmed your fears by presenting you with a negative evaluation. The fact that you did take this test you are reading this discussion suggests that you may be ready for some meaningful change in this part of your life.

About the FNE Scale

Much of the anxiety and discomfort we feel results from how others treat us. But psychologists also know (probably to no one’s surprise) that we also feel anxious worrying about how people will treat us before we interact with them. In essence, we anticipate the problem, and our anxiety level builds before the “real” problem is at hand.

You have no doubt been getting ready for something such as a job interview or a date and thought, “I just know I’ll make a mess of things and an ass out of myself.” You could close your eyes and visualize the upcoming mistakes you were certain that you would make. Your anxiety level began to build as you anticipated the problem situation; you got increasingly nervous, sweaty, over concerned, and by the time the real situation occurred, the odds were great that your worst fears would come true.

After becoming aware of the need for a way to measure the anxiety related to such anticipated problems, psychologists David Watson and Ronald Friend developed the Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale. Such before-the-fact anxiety was defined by Drs. Watson and Friend as the apprehension you feel about going into a situation where you will be evaluated by another person. You will note from the test items that the other person does not need to be someone such as your boss or spouse but can be anyone who is in a position to say, “You’re no good!” The scale also attempts to measure the likelihood that you will avoid such evaluative situations.

About the Author

About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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