Effects of Performance Expectancy and Self-Focused Attention on Social Interaction

Academic Article


  • We investigated the impact of performance expectancies and self-focused attention on social performance in a mixed-sex dyad. A group of 48 undergraduate men with self-reported moderate social anxiety were divided into two groups on the basis of their high or low performance expectancies. Subjects were asked to respond to several self-report questionnaires before and after making a 4-5-min phone call to a female confederate for the purpose of getting acquainted. Half of the subjects in each expectancy group performed in the presence of a self-focusing stimulus (video camera). When anxiety level was controlled for, focus of attention alone had a very limited effect on performance. Expectancy had a significant influence on social performance, but only if subjects were self-focused. Thus confident subjects were rated by judges as more socially skilled than were doubtful subjects, but only when the camera was present. The interaction between these variables parallels previous research and supports the self-regulation model of Carver and Scheier. © 1986 American Psychological Association.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Burgio KL; Merluzzi TV; Pryor JB
  • Start Page

  • 1216
  • End Page

  • 1221
  • Volume

  • 50
  • Issue

  • 6