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ERIC Number: EJ891560
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jul
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1740-4622
A Brief, Self-Directed Written Cognitive Exercise to Reduce Public Speaking Anxiety in College Courses
Dibartolo, Patricia Marten; Molina, Kristine
Communication Teacher, v24 n3 p160-164 Jul 2010
Fear of public speaking is the most common social fear experienced by the general population and can have far-reaching academic effects, including lower course grades and even an increased likelihood to drop out of college. The typical curricular approach to remediating public speaking fears in college students is to provide training in basic skills that make presentations successful. One additional approach is the theoretically grounded process of cognitive restructuring derived from models of social phobia within the field of clinical psychology. Cognitive therapy, an effective intervention for social anxiety developed within the field of clinical psychology, focuses on challenging exaggerated cost and probability estimates using cognitive restructuring exercises. These exercises generate realistic coping skills by asking students to evaluate critically their own feared predictions. In a lab study, DiBartolo, Frost, Dixon, and Almodovar found that a brief, experimenter-administered restructuring exercise based on the principles of cognitive therapy reduced college students' anxiety before and during a subsequent speech task. This article describes an activity which is a self-directed cognitive restructuring exercise that provides a useful alternative or adjunct to skills-based approaches for addressing public speaking anxiety that can be easily incorporated into any college course that requires in-class presentations. A list of references and suggested readings is included.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A