Everyone knows the feeling: getting nervous or stressed when performing in front of an audience or when taking an exam. There are people who try to avoid these kind of activities because they are afraid of a negative evaluation. This is called ‘fear of failure’ (FF). As you can imagine, people who have high levels of fear of failure might select different tasks when given the choice than people who have lower levels of fear of failure or don’t have fear of failure at all. Whether this is actually the case is something we want to investigate!
We, a group of second year Psychology students, are conducting a study where we give participants the choice to either sing the song ‘Gangnam Style’ for 30 seconds while being recorded or write the entire lyrics of the song for 7 minutes in capital letters. We expect that having high levels of fear of failure causes a person to choose the writing task, because this person does not want to be recorded or evaluated. They rather choose a long and boring task instead of a short but kind of embarrassing task. Contrary to this, we assume that having low levels of fear of failure causes a person to choose the singing task. The reason for this is that the person does not care about being evaluated and by choosing the short task they will gain time.
It is important for us to know what choice people would make. If we know this, we can help people with fear of failure and turn their fear into confidence by investigating factors that help reduce this fear.
This is a very interesting and ongoing study. If you are interested in the results and want to know whether our assumptions are correct, then I suggest you to stay tuned!