Empirical validation and psychometric evaluation of the Brief Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale in patients with social anxiety disorder

Psychol Assess. 2005 Jun;17(2):179-90. doi: 10.1037/1040-3590.17.2.179.


The Brief Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale (BFNE; M. R. Leary, 1983a) is often used to assess fear of negative evaluation, the core feature of social anxiety disorder. However, few studies have examined its psychometric properties in large samples of socially anxious patients. Although the BFNE yields a single total score, confirmatory factor analysis indicated a 2-factor solution to be more appropriate, with the 1st factor consisting of all straightforwardly worded items (BFNE-S) and the 2nd of all reverse-scored items (BFNE-R). Support was obtained for the convergent and discriminant validity of the BFNE and BFNE-S, but not the BFNE-R. These results suggest that standard scoring of the BFNE may not be optimal for patients with social anxiety disorder.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology
  • Empirical Research
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Fear*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phobic Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Psychometrics / methods
  • Reproducibility of Results