Progress in the Development of a Multidimensional Measure of Fear of Failure: The Performance Failure Appraisal Inventory (PFAI)


Measuring fear of failure (FF) is a tremendous challenge for researchers and practitioners because (a) existing measures have demonstrated limited support for the validity of their score interpretations, and (b) existing measures are unidimensional while accumulating evidence suggests that FF is multidimensional. The Performance Failure Appraisal Inventory (PFAI) was developed to measures a set of empirically-derived cognitive-motivational-relational appraisals associated with FF. Results indicated that PFAI scores represented fears of (a) experiencing shame and embarrassment, (b) devaluing one's self-estimate, (c) losing social influence, (d) having an uncertain future, and (e) upsetting important others. Correlations with external measures of achievement goal orientations, trait anxiety, and social desirability were consistent with theoretical predictions. PFAI scores correctly classified 76.5% of participants' perceptions of underachievement.


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Youth Motivation and Interests in STEM
Anxiety Stress and Coping
File Attachment(s)
Target Gradespan(s)
High school (9-12)
Additional Disciplines
Bioscience - general
Computer Science - general
Engineering - general
Environmental Science - general
Mathematics - general
Additional Target Participants