IMPACT OF SELF CONCEPT AND BODY DISSATISFACTION ON STUDENTS FEAR OF NEGATIVE EVALUATION

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CHAPTER ONE 

                                      INTRODUCTION

 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 others. 

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 situations.  

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. 

(3) The  cognitive  body  image  entails  how  one  thinks  about  his  or  her  body.  This  can  lead  to preoccupation  with  body  shape  and  weight.  For  example,  some  people  believe  they  will  feel better about themselves if they are thinner or more muscular. 

(4) Behavioural body image which entails the several behaviours one engages in as a result of one’s body  image.  When  people  are  dissatisfied  with  the  way  they  look,  they  may  isolate themselves because they feel bad about their appearance or employ destructive behaviours (e.g excessive exercising, disordered eating) as a means to change their appearance. 

      Positive  body  image  is  important  because  it  is  one  of  the  protection  factors  which  can make  a  person  more  resilient  to  eating  disorders,  body  dimorphic  disorder,  excessive  exercise and other unfavorable behaviors. Positive body image occurs when a person is able to accept, appreciate and respect his or her body. Personal appearance is very important to everyone. It may influence how one feels about oneself, how one interacts with others, how one pays attention to one’s appearance on a daily basis, and what behaviors one practices in order to maintain one’s image (Sloan, 1995). 

Body dissatisfaction on the other hand, is a negative feeling about oneself, beauty, figure, colour, weight, height etc,(Obi,  2006).Body dissatisfaction is an internal process but can be influenced by several external factors. For example, family, friends, acquaintances, teachers and the media all  have  an  impact  on  how  a  person  sees  and  feels  about  themselves  and  their  appearance. 

Individuals in appearance oriented environments or those who receive negative feedback about their appearance are at an increased risk of body dissatisfaction. 

    One  of  the  most  common  external  contributors  to  body  dissatisfaction  is  the  media. 

People of all ages are bombarded with images through TV, magazine, internet and advertising.  

These  images  often  promote  unrealistic,  unobtainable  and  highly  stylized  appearance  ideals which  have  been  fabricated  by  stylists,  art  teams,  and  digital  manipulation  and&nb.

IMPACT OF SELF CONCEPT AND BODY DISSATISFACTION ON STUDENTS FEAR OF NEGATIVE EVALUATION