Brief Fear of Negative Evaluation-II (BFNE-II)


Author of Tool: 

Carleton, Collimore, & Asmundson, 2007; Carleton, McCreary, Norton, & Asmundson, 2006

Key references: 

Carleton, R. N., Collimore, K. C., & Asmundson, G. J. G. (2007). Social anxiety and fear of negative evaluation: Construct validity of the BFNE-II. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 21, 131-141. doi:10.1016/j.janxdis.2006.03.010

Carleton, R. N., Collimore, K. C., McCabe, R. E., & Antony, M. M. (2011). Addressing revisions to the brief fear of negative evaluation scale: Measuring fear of negative evaluation across anxiety and mood disorders. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 25, 822-828. doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2011.04.002

Carleton, R. N., McCreary, D. R., Norton, P. J., & Asmundson, G. J. G. (2006). Brief Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale-Revised. Depression and Anxiety, 23, 297-303. doi:10.1002/ da. 20142

Leary, M. R. (1983). A brief version of the Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 9, 371-375. doi:10.1177/0146167283093007

Miller, M. B. (1995). Coefficient alpha: A basic introduction from the perspectives of classical test theory and structural equation modeling. Structural Equation Modeling, 2, 255–273. doi: 10.1080/10705519509540013

Taylor, S. (1993). The structure of fundamental fears. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 24, 289–299. doi:10.1016/0005-7916(93)90053-Y

Watson, D., & Friend, R. (1969). Measurement of social-evaluative anxiety. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 33, 448-457. doi:10.1037/h0027806

Weeks, J. W., Heimberg, R. G., Fresco, D. M., Hart, T. A., Turk, C. L., Schneier, F. R., & Liebowitz, M. R. (2005). Empirical validation and psychometric evaluation of the Brief Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale in patients with social anxiety disorder. Psychological Assessment, 17, 179-190. doi:10.1037/1040-3590.17.2.179

Primary use / Purpose: 

The BFNE-II is a 12-item revised version of the Brief Fear of Negative Evaluation scale (BFNE; Leary, 1983) used for measuring fears of negative evaluation (e.g., ‘‘I am afraid that others will not approve of me’’). Items are rated on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 0 (not at all characteristic of me) to 4 (extremely characteristic of me).


The Brief Fear of Negative Evaluation scale (BFNE) has been correlated with the Social Avoidance and Distress Scale (SADS; Watson & Friend, 1969); however, it more accurately depicts FNE than it does SA (Miller, 1995). Revisions to the BFNE were made in accordance with previously suggested changes (Taylor, 1993) to remove a methodological issue stemming from four reverseworded items by revising those items to be straightforwardly worded (Carleton, Collimore, et al., 2007; Carleton et al., 2006; Weeks et al., 2005).


The BFNE-II demonstrates excellent internal consistency, correlates highly with the BFNE, and factor analyses have supported a unitary solution (Carleton, Collimore, et al., 2007; Carleton et al., 2006).



Microsoft Office document iconBrief Fear of negative evaluation II

Other Information: 

Simply sum client’s ratings. A cutoff score of 25 may be indicative of clinically significant social anxiety. For further interpretation, see Carleton, Collimore, McCabe and Anthony (2011).

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):


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