Core beliefs, automatic thoughts and response expectancies in predicting public speaking anxiety

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Personality and Individual Differences, 55(7), 856-859 (2013) .


The present study examined the relationships between broad core cognitions, situation-specific automatic thoughts, and response expectancies in regard to their relative contributions to public speaking anxiety. Ninety-nine socially anxious participants (mean age = 20.25) completed measures of irrational beliefs and automatic thoughts specific to public speaking. Participants were then announced the task – giving a speech in front of a virtual reality audience – and response expectancies were measured. Subjective anxiety was measured just before the speech. As predicted, response expectancies and negative automatic thoughts specific to public speaking were each found to mediate the relationship between irrational beliefs and public speaking anxiety. Multiple mediation analysis indicated that the core irrational beliefs generated specific beliefs (i.e., response expectancies that primed automatic thoughts) that acted on speech-related anxiety.

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