ERIC Number: ED204830
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-May
Reference Count: 0
Toward an Understanding of the Emotional Nature of Stage Fright: A Three Factor Theory.
Cahn, Dudley D.
A comprehensive understanding of stage fright will better enable teachers and researchers to select the most appropriate "cure" and to determine those cases in which speech training will help reduce stage fright or other states of communication apprehension. Attempts to understand stage fright have focused on three psychological theories of emotion (neurological, body reaction, and a two-factor theory of body reaction and environmental cues), but each theory has proved inadequate. A more comprehensive theory depicts stage fright as the result of the interaction of three principal components: the behavioral, the physiological, and the cognitive. The behavioral factor includes avoiding speech situations and taking actions to control or repress tensions. The physiological factor refers to arousal symptoms such as increased sweating and breathing rate. The cognitive factor is the consciousness of the behavioral or physiological changes. Both the behavioral and the physiological factors must be present for a speaker to experience stage fright, and the greater the physiological changes the greater the behavioral changes. Further research into the emotional nature of stage fright must be dependent on all three factors, recognize stage fright as only one phase of communication apprehension, and examine how different audience and situation cues affect the intensity of stage fright. (HTH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Stage Fright
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (31st, Minneapolis, MN, May 21-25, 1981).