The Effect of Challenge and Threat Appraisals Under Evaluative Presence
Article first published online: 16 AUG 2010
© 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 40, Issue 8, pages 2071–2104, August 2010
How to Cite
Feinberg, J. M. and Aiello, J. R. (2010), The Effect of Challenge and Threat Appraisals Under Evaluative Presence. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 40: 2071–2104. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2010.00651.x
- Issue published online: 16 AUG 2010
- Article first published online: 16 AUG 2010
Four studies were conducted to examine whether cognitive appraisals, manipulated through task instructions, would moderate social-facilitation effects. In Study 1, participants in the challenge condition performed better on a mental arithmetic task when the experimenter was present. Conversely, participants in the threat condition performed worse when the experimenter was present. Study 2 extended these findings across 2 math tasks that varied in degree of difficulty. The pattern of performance data failed to support prior drive theories and provided support for a unique contribution of cognitive appraisals in explaining social-facilitation effects. Study 3 validated the appraisal manipulations by using multiple measures of cognitive appraisals. Finally, Study 4 offered increased validity by replicating the performance data using an anagram task.