Graduate Program

Clinical Psychology

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion

Spring 2022

Thesis Director

Wesley D. Allan

Thesis Committee Member

JungSu Oh

Thesis Committee Member

Jeffrey R. Stowell


Social anxiety has been linked to both the Fear of Negative Evaluation (FNE) and the Fear of Positive Evaluation, suggesting that receiving feedback (whether positive or negative) is difficult for persons with social anxiety. However, little research has examined whether receiving feedback in an evaluative setting (e.g., dating) can directly affect social anxiety levels. Thus, this study examined whether varying types of feedback (negative, positive, and neutral) can affect the levels of social anxiety for individuals in a dating scenario. Feedback was provided to participants and examined in relation to their levels of FNE and FPE. Participants consisted of undergraduate students who completed measures online both before and after being asked to imagine themselves receiving feedback in a dating scenario. The results demonstrated that, in a dating situation, receiving positive feedback can decrease social anxiety levels whereas receiving negative feedback can increase social anxiety levels.

Keywords: Social anxiety, Dating setting, Positive feedback, Negative feedback, Neutral feedback, FNE, FPE

Available for download on Wednesday, March 06, 2024