Reductions in the social anxiety of women associated with group membership: Distraction, anonymity, security, or diffusion of evaluation?

Albert V. Carron, Paul A. Estabrooks, Holly Horton, Harry Prapavessis, Heather A. Hausenblas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


This study examined whether social anxiety is diminished among women in the company of a group and, if so, whether it is associated with perceptions of anonymity, being distracted, feelings of security, or an expectation that any evaluation will be diffused across the members of the group. Two social scenarios were presented to 61 female undergraduate students: a physique-salient and a general social situation. For the former situation, self-presentational anxiety was less pronounced in a group of female friends and a mixed group of male and female friends than when alone or in a group of male friends. For the general social situation, in comparison with being alone, being in a group of female friends, being in a group of male friends, and being in a mixed group of male and female friends were associated with less social anxiety. Diffusion of evaluation and perceptions of security were most strongly associated with the reduction in social anxiety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-160
Number of pages9
JournalGroup Dynamics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 1999


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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