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 Watson  and  Friend  (1969) defined  fear  of negative  evaluation  as  apprehension  about

others’ evaluation, distress over their negative evaluation, and the expectation that others would

evaluate  oneself negatively. Carleton et  al,  (2006) defined fear  of  negative  evaluation  as  the

apprehension and distress arising from concern about being judged despairingly or hostilely by


Basically people with a high degree of fear of negative evaluation (which can be measured with

Fear of Negative Evaluation scale developed by  Watson and friend) are overly concerned with

how  they  are  judged  or  perceived by  other  people.  They  tend  to  imagine  that  they  are  being

perceived in negative ways and they are often inhibited in their behaviour as a result.

 This  people  are  also  more  responsive  to  situational  factors,  conformity, pre-social

behavior e.t.c. It may also be seen in every social evaluating situation including testing, being on

a  date,  talking  to  one’s  superior,  being  interviewed  for  a  job,  or  giving  a  speech (Watson  and

friend,  1969).Fear  of  negative  evaluation  is  related  to  specific  personality  dimensions,  such  as

anxiousness,  submissiveness,  and social  avoidance. Several  cognitive  models,  as  well as

previous research, support the notion that social anxiety is derived in part, from fear of perceived

negative evaluation(Clark & Wells 1995; Rapee and Heimbeig, 1997). People with social anxiety

demonstrate  a  variety  of  behaviours  to  avoid  negative  evaluation (Well  et  al, 1995)  and  have

attentional biases for detecting social-evaluative threats (Asmundson & Stein, 1994; Heinrichs &

Hofmann, 2001; Vassilopoloulos, 2005); however this sensitivity to social threats is believed to

be  based on  implicit  and  automatic  response  determined by  stimulus  relevance  (Philippot  and

Pouilliez, 2005).Socially anxious people have lower level of confidence in their perceived social

skills  (it  has  also  been  associated  with  increased  shyness (Miller,  1995),  the  development  of

eating disorders (Gilbert and mayer, 2005), and lower self-esteem (kocovski and Endler, 2002).

 Tozzi,F.,Aggen,S.,Neal,B.,Anderson,C.,Mazzeo,S.,Neal,M,.(2004) made  a  connection

between fear of negative evaluation and perfectionism, suggesting that a fear of making mistake

is one of the core features of perfectionism. Concern over mistake can be viewed as a form of

negative  evaluation. Succinctly  put, mistakes  are  synonymous  with  failure  and  disapproval.

Social  anxiety  is,  in  part  response  to  perceived  negative  evaluation  by  others  whereas  Fear  of

Negative Evaluation   is related to dread of being evaluated despairingly when participating in a

social  situation.  Social  anxiety  is purely an emotional  reaction to  this  type  of  social  phobia.

When patients  with  social  phobia  evaluate their  relationship,  they  are  extremely  fearful  of

negative  evaluation  and  express  high  degree  of  FNE.  FNE  has  been  suggested  to  have  some

genetic  components  as  are  other  personality  characteristics  (trait  anxiousness,  submissiveness

and social avoidance) Segrin, (2001).

As  a  latent  construct,  fear  of  negative  evaluation  is  believed  to  promote  the  development  and

expression of more general fears, anxiety and psychopathologies (Reiss and McNally, 1985).

This  latent  fear  is  partially  heritable;  ((Stein,  Jang,  & Livesley, 2002).  Given  the  necessity for

positive, successful social  interaction,  particularly  for  persons  in  fear  of  therapy  (Alden  &

Taylor, 2004; Segrin, 2001). Increased understanding of effect of fear of negative evaluation and

its correlates is crucial.

      Self-concept is another important variable that we must talk about as it contributes a lot

in determining whether a person would develop the fear of being negatively evaluated by people.

The  self-concept  is  a  general  term  used  to  refer  to  how  someone  thinks  about  or  perceives

himself.The  self-concept  can  be  defined  as  an  organised  knowledge  structure  or  cognitive

schema  that  contains  all  known  information  about  the  self,  including  past  experiences,  current

knowledge,  feelings,  beliefs  and  self-evaluations (Markus,  1977).  While  the  self-concept  was

once conceptualised as a stable, generalised view of the self, it is now viewed as a dynamic and

multifaceted  structure,  which  influences  areas  as  diverse  as  self-regulation,  goal  setting,

information  processing, affect  regulation,  motivation,  social  perception,  situation  and  partner

choice,  interaction  strategies,  and  reactions  to  feedback  (Markus  &Wurf,  1987).  This  dynamic

conceptualisation allowed for the observation that an individual’s self-concept could alter based

on their currently accessible thoughts, attitudes and beliefs, which may be influenced by factors

such  as  their  current  motivational  state  or  social  surroundings (Markus  &Wurf,  1987).  Self-

concept  can  be  conceptualized  in  terms  of  both  content  and  structure,  that  is  how  the  person

views themselves and  how  this  self-relevant  information  is  organized.  Social cognitive

researchers have found out that people vary in the stability of their self-concept (Campbell et al,

1996), and propose that an unstable self-concept results in sensitivity and susceptibility to self-

relevant feedback (Campbell,1990). Psychologist, Carl Rogers (1951), was the first to establish

the notion of self-concept. According to Rogers, everyone strives to reach an ‘’ideal self’’ (the

closer one is to their ideal self, the happier one will be)

 Those  who  are  unable  to  attain  this  goal may exhibit the fear  of  being  negatively

evaluated  by  others  and  most  times  they  tend  to  avoid  socially  evaluative situations.  Rogers

claims that one factor in a person’s happiness is the “Unconditional Positive Regard (UPR) from

others.  UPR often  occur  in  close  of  familial  relationship,  and  involves  a  consistent  level  of

attention  regardless  of  the  recipient  emotion. According  to  Rogers, psychologically  healthy

people  actively  move  away  from  roles  created  by  others  expectations  and  instead  look  within

themselves for validation. On the other hand neurotic people have self-concept that do not match

their own experiences. They are afraid to accept their own experiences as valid, so they distort

them, either to protect themselves or to win approval from others. One important theory related

to  self-concept  is  self-categorization theory (SCT),  which  states  that  self-concept  consist  of  at

least two levels, a personal identity and a social identity. In other words ones self-evaluation rely

on  both  self-perception  and  how  others  perceive  them.  If  one  perceives  oneself  as  being

incompetent, this  negative  self-evaluation  would  affect  the person’s behaviour or  disposition

probably  negatively in  the  same  hand,  positive  self-evaluation breeds confidence  in  social


The temporary  self-appraisal  theory  supports  the  above notion; it  posits that  people  have  a

tendency to maintain a positive self-evaluation by distancing themselves from their negative self

and paying more attention to their positive one.

      Body image is the perception that a person has of their physical self and the thoughts and

feelings that result from that perception. These feelings can be positive, negative or both and are

influenced by individuals and environmental factors 

 According  to  National  Eating  Disorders  Collaboration  (2014), there are  four  aspects  of

body image; it includes:

(1) The perceptual body image which has to do with how one sees oneself. This is not always a

correct  representation  of  how  one actually  looks.  For  example,  a  person  may  perceive  his/her

self as overweight when they are actually underweight.

(2) The  affective  body  image  which  has to  do  with  the  way one feels  about  one’s body.  It

relates to the amount of satisfaction or dissatisfaction one feels about one’s shape, weight and

individual body parts. 

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