ERPSAS - Validation of the Emotional Reasoning in Public Speaking Anxiety Scale

Published: 16 May 2024| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/fyv5gddfxj.1
Macarena Paredes Mealla, Laura Díaz Sanahuja, Azucena García Palacios, Jorge Osma, Carlos Suso-Ribera


Emotional reasoning (ER) is the process of forming judgments based on emotions rather than objective information. To assess ER specifically in individuals with public speaking anxiety (PSA), we developed the Emotional Reasoning in Public Speaking Anxiety Scale (ERPSAS). This scale aims to quantify the extent to which emotions influence reasoning processes in the context of PSA. In our study, we administered the ERPSAS to a sample drawn from the general population. To establish the validity of the scale, we conducted two types of analyses: convergent validity, comparing it with existing measures of ASP, and divergent validity, comparing it with measures of anxiety and depression. For convergent validity, we assessed the ERPSAS together with established measures of ASP, including the Spanish version of the Public Speaking Anxiety Scale (PSAS-S; Bartholomay & Houlihan, 2016; Dueñas et al., 2018), the validated Spanish version of the Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale (BFNE; Gallego et al., 2007; Leary, 1983), and the Positive and Negative Self-Affirmations in Public Speaking Scale (SSPS; Hofmann & DiBartolo, 2000; Rivero et al., 2010). This approach allowed us to determine the degree of alignment of the SSPSAS with other instruments designed to measure similar constructs. In terms of divergent validity, we compared the ERPSAS with measures of anxiety and depression, namely the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9; Diez-Quevedo et al., 2001; Kroenke et al., 2001) and the short version of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-T; Buela-Casal & Guillén-Riquelme, 2017; Spielberger et al., 1970). By examining the relationship of the ERPSAS to these constructs, we were able to ensure that it measured PSA-specific emotional reasoning and not general emotional distress. Through our analyses, we identified an optimal cut-off point for the ERPSAS, resulting in a four-stage scale reflecting PSA severity. Notably, people with severe PSA tended to rate scenarios with negative emotional valence as more threatening, even when presented with safe factual information (p<0.001).


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We utilized the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (IBM SPSS; version to conduct our statistical analyses. To minimize the risk of type I errors, we set an alpha level of 0.01. An internal consistency analysis, employing both Cronbach's alpha and McDonald's omega, was performed for both the full sample (n=304) and the reduced sample (n=291). In this analysis, we adjusted the scores for level of safety, controllability, and coping by reversing them, resulting in direct scores for the variables of level of danger, desire to avoid the situation, and degree of distress. Subsequently, we calculated a perceived threat score for each of the four combinations of endings based on the type of information (neutral or dangerous factual information and positive or negative emotional valence), irrespective of the scenario described. Furthermore, we computed the same score based on the situation described in each scenario (business meeting, speech in front of an audience, wedding speech, or job interview), and the four endings according to the type of information available. To assess differences in variable scores based on the type of information (neutral or dangerous factual information combined with positive or negative emotional valence) and the type of scenario, we conducted one-way ANOVAs. This allowed us to determine whether there were significant differences across these factors.


Universitat Jaume I


Anxiety, Emotion, Psychometric Assessment, Psychometrics, Validation Study