Date of Award

5-3-2007

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Page Anderson, PhD - Chair

Second Advisor

Leslie Jackson, PhD

Third Advisor

Lisa Lilenfeld, PhD

Fourth Advisor

Tracie Stewart, PhD

Abstract

Public speaking anxiety is a common experience in both community and clinical populations and can have a negative impact on quality of life. Although contemporary treatments have been found to be effective, there is a lack of cultural relevance in existing theories and treatments. The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of stereotypes, a culturally relevant variable, on public speaking performance and anxiety for African Americans and Asian Americans. Participants (N=97) were randomly assigned to one of two experimental conditions where they either received feedback that was stereotype confirming or non-stereotype confirming. Analyses of variance procedures were utilized to determine whether stereotype confirming feedback would have a negative impact on public speaking performance and anxiety during a speech performance task. Overall, stereotype confirming feedback was not found to have a negative impact on the participants’ public speaking performance or anxiety as measured by self-report and observer ratings. In particular, participants who received stereotype confirming feedback reported less prediction of poor performance in public speaking situations compared to those who received non-stereotype confirming feedback. However, there was a significant positive relation between the participants’ concerns for confirming negative stereotypes and self-report measures of public speaking anxiety. African American participants also reported fewer negative self-statements associated with public speaking compared to Asian American participants. These results encourage future studies to further examine the relation between stereotypes and public speaking anxiety.

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Psychology Commons

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