Impact averaging and social facilitation : the effects of a heterogeneous audience on anxiety and task performance

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
James Edward Crisson (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
John J. Seta

Abstract: Evaluation apprehension approaches to social facilitation have long contended that increasing audience size should either increase or have no effect on evaluation apprehension or anxiety. Changes in evaluation apprehension are generally inferred from altered task performance within this paradigm. This research has relied predominantly on audiences of homogeneous composition. The effects of heterogeneous audiences on evaluation apprehension or anxiety have received only scant attention. The averaging/summation model of evaluation addresses this issue. According to one aspect of this model, increasing audience size could result in decreased anxiety or evaluation apprehension. This would be the case if a performer concentrates on the average of the individuals in the audience. In this situation, the inclusion of low evaluative members in a highly evaluative audience could result in an average audience impact that is less than that of a high status audience of fewer members. The predictions of the averaging/summation model are, however, based on role play situations utilizing verbal reports of anxiety. The inconsistent predictions of the evaluation apprehension approaches to social facilitation and the averaging/summation model could, therefore, be due to differences in these two experimental paradigms.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1988
Group facilitation

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